The University of Wisconsin women’s hockey team (10-1-1, 4-1-1 WCHA) returns to the ice this weekend to host Minnesota State (6-4-2, 2-4-2) at LaBahn Arena.
The team is looking to get back on track this weekend after their defeats at the hands of the Minnesota Gophers on Nov. 2 and 3, where the Badgers fell to the Gophers 2–4 and 2–2. In the second matchup, the Gophers triumphed in shootouts 1–0. While the unit faltered a bit on the road, Wisconsin is looking to return to their stellar form that they have assumed at home all season.
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The Badgers will return to their home ice in order to defend a 20-game win streak at LaBahn Arena. Dedicated fans surely play a large role in this continued, rampant success. Wisconsin leads the country in attendance, averaging 2,273 fans per home game this year. In addition, Wisconsin has sold out 62 of its last 80 games at LaBahn, including an impressive 20 sellouts last season alone. Season ticket holders are not guaranteed to show up to every game, but Badger nation certainly seems to be in full support of their home team.
Minnesota State, up to this point in the season, has failed to capture definitive wins against top WCHA opponents. They are winless against ranked opponents this season as their best finish has been a pair of ties against the top-10 ranked The Ohio State University. This trend will be hard to overcome, especially considering the advantage the Badgers have while competing on their home ice.
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All signs point toward the Badgers having a dominant comeback performance against Minnesota State — a team they have certainly dominated in the past. Wisconsin is 84-2-3 all-time against Minnesota State. This trend shows little sign of slowing down anytime soon as the Badgers also currently enjoy a 25 game win streak over Minnesota State.
If the Badgers are to dominate Minnesota State, look for key offensive players such as Abby Roque, Daryl Watts and Sophie Shirley. This trio has set themselves apart from the rest of the squad in total points per season up to this point. Each of them currently have at least 22 points on the season with Watts leading the pack with 29 total points. The next closest contributor behind these three is Mekenzie Steffen with 15.
Wisconsin has all the tools necessary to take down Minnesota State as they return home fresh off of a bye week.