The No. 2 University of Wisconsin women’s hockey team (26-4-1, 16-4-1-1 Western Collegiate Hockey Association) is coming off an up-and-down weekend series against The Ohio State University (18-8-6, 11-6-5).
The Badgers lost their first home game of the season Saturday night, but followed it up with an exciting 3-on-3 overtime victory in the Kohl Center Sunday. This week, the team will wrap up regular season play against the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs (16-9-5, 11-7-4) at AMSOIL Arena.
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Earlier in the season, the Badgers and Bulldogs squared off at LaBahn Arena in a series that featured two closely played games, with the Badgers prevailing in both contests. This weekend’s series will carry a lot more significance than the prior meetings, due to the playoff seeding implications it brings along.
For Wisconsin, they are looking to lock up the top seed in the WCHA Postseason Tournament and a quarterfinal-round bye. As for Minnesota Duluth, they are currently deadlocked with OSU for third place in the regular season standings and will look to pull ahead.
With only two more regular season games left for the Badgers, junior forward Daryl Watts remains the WCHA’s leading point-getter with 67 total points — averaging over two points per game. The Bulldogs boast a high scoring forward themselves with sophomore Gabbie Hughes who has tallied 45 points in 29 games played, good for fourth in the conference.
As for team statistics, Wisconsin still leads the conference in just about every offensive category, as they have done almost all season.
This includes boasting the highest goals per game mark at 4.59, the highest power-play percentage at 35.9%, and the most total goals scored with 147 across the whole season.
For Minnesota Duluth, they boast a stout defense — only giving up about two goals per game. With that, this weekend will feature a strong Wisconsin offense going head-to-head with the Bulldogs’ strong defense this weekend in Duluth.
A sweep of Minnesota Duluth would be huge for the Badgers to snag the WCHA’s top seed and gain momentum going into the WCHA and NCAA Tournaments.