After opening the season completing a sweep over the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, the No. 14 University of Wisconsin men’s hockey team (2-0, 2-0 Big Ten) hopes to keep their momentum alive this weekend in another Big Ten series, this time, against the No. 6 Michigan Wolverines (2-0, 0-0).

Wisconsin’s sweep of the Irish last week earned the Badgers a spot in the national rankings, which they hadn’t been placed in since early last season.

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Michigan entered the 2020-21 campaign with a preseason ranking of No. 12, but the Wolverines moved up six spots following two blowout wins over the No. 15 Arizona State Sun Devils.

The Sun Devils had no answers for the Wolverines, losing by a combined score of 11–1, which showed the Wolverines’ muscle. The series proved so strong for the Wolverines that the U.S. College Hockey Online Poll placed them six spots higher, with the top five schools having not started their seasons yet.

Kent Johnson, Michigan’s leader in points, earned the Big Ten’s third star of the week after scoring his first career goal and tallying four assists in the series against the Sun Devils. Johnson will prove a tough assignment for the Badger defense and goalkeeper Robbie Beydoun.

The Badgers will be without star Dylan Holloway, who scored one of the two goals in the Badgers season opener, along with a goal in the final game of the series. The Badgers must learn to adjust in the absence of Holloway as he will likely miss the first half of the season. Holloway joins Team Canada as they start training camp for the World Junior Ice Hockey Championship.

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Over the course of history, the Wolverines own the matchup against the Badgers with a 78-62-13 record, while winning the last three meetings by a combined score of 16–8. In Madison, however, history is on the Badgers side.

Against Michigan, 39 of the Badgers’ 62 wins have come at home. Michigan has won just 23 times in Madison. This weekend’s series, which is being held at the LaBahn Arena in Madison, will hopefully prove to be a difference-maker in this matchup once again. The Wolverines swept the Badgers last year in Ann Arbor but split the series in Madison.

The 154th and 155th meetings between the two clubs will be a battle of two Big Ten teams looking to build on dominant starts. The first game will be Thursday, Nov. 19 at 6 p.m., followed by the second and final game of the series Friday, Nov. 20, at 6 p.m. Both games will be televised on Fox Sports Wisconsin.