UW vs. UMD Series Preview

Wisconsin hosts Minnesota Duluth this weekend at the Kohl Center in a crucial WCHA match up with 10 games remaining for each team in the regular season.

The Badgers (13-10-3/10-6-2) are the only team to have beaten the Bulldogs (13-7-6/7-6-5) at the DECC this season, so if Wisconsin can translate that success to the Kohl Center, then it should be all set.

And they should be able to...Wisconsin this season is 8-4-2 in Madison while UMD is just 2-5-3 in true road games.

However, it's not so easy going up against one of the best goalies in the country. Alex Stalock, who Badger fans saw wander to all ends of the ice as a rookie two seasons ago, has calmed down somewhat and leads the WCHA in all games and league games in GAA and save pct.

The key for Wisconsin is to get on the board early against UMD. Duluth has not lost this season when leading after the first or the second period. Wisconsin, on the other hand, has had a difficult time holding late leads; the Badgers have led in the third period in 19 of 26 games, but only have 13 wins.

I'm personally most excited about seeing Duluth's power play against Wisconsin's penalty kill. The Bulldogs come in with the third best PP in the country (22.2%) while the Badgers have the fourth best PK around college hockey (89.9%). Duluth has scored on the man advantage in five straight games, so when the Badgers are in the box, watch out.

Tune into live coverage of Wisconsin hockey on WSUM's online sports stream at 7 PM CT.

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