UND defenseman Tucker Poolman, (UND Athletics)

Wisconsin Vs. North Dakota, a Series Preview

This weekend, the University of North Dakota entertains the Wisconsin Badgers in an important non-conference match-up. The two teams will play for the 167th and 168th time, prior to realignment, both teams were members of the WCHA from 1969-2013. This will be the first time the Badgers have played against UND in Grand Forks, ND since February 1-2, 2013. UND would take three-of-four points from the Badgers with a (1-1 T, 4-1 W).

Series History

All-time, UND trails the Badgers 68-86-12 (.446) in the series. However, UND is unbeaten in the last seven games against the Badgers (6-0-1). Last season, UND swept the Badgers in Madison (4-3W, 5-1W).

Wisconsin Badgers (2-3-3, 0-0-0 Big Ten) at #1 North Dakota (6-0-2, 2-0-0-0 NCHC)
Date: November 6-7, 2015
Time: 7:37 CT Friday, 7:07 CT Saturday
Location: Ralph Engelstad Arena (11,634), Grand Forks, ND
Radio: 96.1 The Fox, IHeart Radio 
TV: MidcoSports Network
Live Stats:  UNDsports.com

Tale of the Tape

North Dakota

UND Last Time Out: Swept C.C. (5-2 W, 2-0 W)
UND Offense: 16th, 3.62 GPG
UND Defense: 8th, 1.62 G/GM
UND Scoring Margin: 8th, 2.00
UND Power Play: 28th, (6/33, 18.2%)
UND Penalty Kill: 42nd, (24/30, 80.0%)
UND Penalty Minutes: 12th, 12.5 PIM/G
Streak: 6-0-2, last eight
USCHO Ranking: 1
(UND Official Game Notes)

Wisconsin Badgers

Badgers Last Time Out: Swept ASU (5-1 W, 2-1 W)
Badgers Offense: 39th, 2.38 GPG
Badgers Defense: 36th, 3.00 G/GM
Badgers Scoring Margin: 44th, -0.62
Badgers Power Play: 15th, (8/36, 22.2%)
Badgers Penalty Kill: 27th, (27/32. 84.4%)
Badgers Penalty Minutes: 18th, 11.8 PIM/G
Streak: 2-3-3, last eight
USCHO Ranking: N/A
(Badgers Official Game Notes)
(s/t College Hockey Stats Net)

Players of Note

North Dakota: Forwards: Drake Caggiula (2g-7a—9pts), Brock Boeser (5g-2a—7pts), Bryn Chyzyk (5g-2a—7pts), Nick Schmaltz (0g-6a—6pts), Johnny Simonson (2g-3a—5pts), Luke Johnson (1g-4a—5pts).  Defense: Troy Stecher (2g-5a—7pts), Tucker Poolman (0g-4a—4pts), Gage Ausmus (0g-4a—4pts), Keaton Thompson (1g-2a—3pts). Goaltenders: Cam Johnson (1-0-1, 1.82 GAA, .907 SV%), Matt Hrynkiw (5-0-1, 1.48 GAA, .942 Sv%). (UND Stats)

UND Injuries: Goalies: Matej Tomek, Cam Johnson, Colten St. Clair.

Wisconsin Badgers: Forwards: Grant Besse (3g-5a—8pts), Seamus Malone (2g-5a—7pts), Luke Kunin (2g-4a—6pts), Ryan Wagner (3g-2a—5pts). Defensemen: Kevin Schulze (0g-4a—4pts), Tim Davidson (2g-1a—3pts), Jake Linhart (2g-1a—3pts). Goaltenders: Matt Jurusik (2-2-2, 2.84 GAA, .904 SV%), Adam Miller (0-1-1, 3.46 GAA, .895 SV%).

Badgers Struggling

For the second week in a row, the UND hockey team is taking on an opponent that struggling mightily on the ice. The Badgers struggles are well documented and their fans want blood. Calls for Badgers head coach Mike Eaves firing grow by the week.

According to the Badgers media guide, before sweeping newcomer Arizona State University last weekend, the Badgers haven’t swept a series since winning two games at Penn State on March 7-8, 2014. Breaking it down further, the last time the Badgers had won consecutive games, was last season, when the Badgers won at Ohio State on Feb. 14, 2015, and then beat Michigan State at home on Feb. 20, 2015.

Last season, the Badgers finished with a 4-26-5 record, that was the worst finish in the Badgers history. Over the past two seasons, the Badgers have gone 6-29-8 (.232). Those numbers are very poor by Wisconsin’s standards.

Series Prediction

Historically, this series has seen some epic battles. However, this season, it’s about two teams going in separate directions. Since UND beat the Badgers 5-2 in the 2014 Midwest Regional, the Badgers have struggled on the ice. Obviously, the Badgers are going to be looking for some revenge, but will they be able to get some?

Losing a game or two the Badgers would significantly damage UND’s Pairwise Ranking and would make qualifying for the NCAA tourney more difficult. UND will not overlook the Badgers, UND Sweeps 4-1, and 3-2.