The University of Wisconsin men’s hockey team (13-18-1, 6-15-1-1 Big Ten) will battle the No. 10 ranked team in the country this weekend as the Badgers travel to Columbus to take on the Ohio State University Buckeyes (18-10-4, 11-8-3).

Coming off a weekend full of some of their best hockey of the season, the Badgers look to keep the streak going against the Buckeyes. The Badgers dominated in their matchup against Arizona State last weekend, scoring a total of 13 goals through the two game series. If the team is able to stay hot, the Buckeyes could be in a lot of trouble.

Men’s Hockey: Badgers capture key sweep of No. 9 Arizona State in final home series of seasonThe University of Wisconsin men’s hockey team (13-18-1, 6-15-1-1 Big Ten) took on the Arizona State University Sun Devils (22-11-3) Read…

The Buckeyes are also coming off a series sweep, winning both road games against the Michigan State University Spartans. The team is currently tied for second in the Big Ten with Minnesota with both teams just four points behind Penn State. This effectively makes this weekend’s series at the Kohl Center crucial for the Buckeyes’ push towards first place as the season draws to a close.

The two teams faced off earlier this season in Madison, splitting the series with a win each. All time, the Badgers have a winning record against the Buckeyes at 19-17-3. 

The Badgers look to continue their offensive dominance this weekend, especially with help from sophomore Roman Ahcan who scored four goals last weekend including a hat trick in the first game of the series Friday. Ahcan is now second on the team in both scoring and points with 14 goals and 25 points — just behind star freshman Cole Caufield.

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Defensively, the Buckeyes have been strong this season, especially with goalkeeper Tommy Nappier’s impressive junior season campaign. Nappier played in both games last weekend for the Buckeyes, allowing just two goals on 56 shots. This performance included a shutout in the first game of the series vs. the Spartans. He has a save rate of 93% on the season, good for the No. 8 spot in the nation.

While defense for the Badgers was not a strong point last Friday, the team stepped it up on Saturday as they allowed just two goals on 32 shots. The Badgers defense needs to be productive this weekend in order to derail the Buckeyes. 

With the games this weekend being the final regular season series for both teams, they have huge implications on the Buckeyes seeding in the Big Ten tournament. The Badgers have already secured the last place No. 7 seed in the tournament. Yet, with two wins this weekend, the Buckeyes could find themselves at the No.1 seed depending on what happens with the rest of the conference.

An axe to grindThe University of Wisconsin and the University of Minnesota have perhaps the most storied rivalry in college sports, as the Read…

The first game of the series this weekend will take place Friday at 5:00 p.m. The second game will be played Saturday at 7:00 p.m. Both games can be viewed on the Big Ten Network, as well as listened to on 1310 WIBA. Follow along on the teams twitter page @BadgerMHockey for updates throughout the games as well.