With its 1-7-2 start to the season Wisconsin had to adapt a playoff mentality early. That mindset has carried them to a 20-5-5 record since, and a 4-0 record in the WCHA playoffs. Now the Badgers are just one game away from winning the Broadmoor trophy, awarded to the WCHA's playoff champion.
Wisconsin has won the league's playoff title 11 times, with the latest coming under former head coach Jeff Sauer in 1998 at the Target Center in Minneapolis. Colorado College is seeking its first ever Broadmoor trophy, which is named after the famous Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs.
The Badgers advanced to the St. Paul after sweeping Minnesota-Duluth in the first round of the WCHA playoffs last weekend. So far this weekend Wisconsin has deposited Minnesota State, 7-2, and top seeded St. Cloud, 4-1.
The Tigers reached the Final Five after upsetting local rival Denver in three games on the road last week. In St. Paul, CC has defeated North Dakota, 4-3 in overtime, and Minnesota, 2-0.
Wisconsin's .750 winning percentage in its past 30 contests is third best in the country behind only UMass-Lowell (.796) and Quinnipiac (.780). The Badgers' five losses are tied for the second-fewest in the nation over that time behind only top ranked Quinnipiac.
Tonight's contest between Wisconsin and Colorado College will mark the 184th match between the two long-time WCHA schools. The Badgers own the all-time series, 108-69-9, but have won just four of the past 21 games dating back to the 2006-2007 season.
These two teams last met Nov. 2-3 in Madison, with Colorado College prevailing both nights. The Tigers beat the Badgers, 5-4 in overtime on Friday night before shutting out UW, 3-0, on Saturday.
What you need to know:
Who: Colorado College (18-18-5) vs Wisconsin (21-12-7)
What: WCHA Final Five Championship
Where: Xcel Energy Center (St. Paul, Minn.)
Game Time: 7:10 PM CT
Television: Fox Sports North/Fox Sports Wisconsin
Radio: Badger Sports Network
Nic Kerdiles-Mark Zengerle-Tyler Barnes
Joseph LaBate-Brendan Woods-Michael Mersch
Ryan Little-Jefferson Dahl-Sean Little
Brad Navin-Keegan Meuer-Matt Paape
Kevin Schulze-John Ramage
Jake McCabe-Frankie Simonelli
Eddie Wittchow-Joe Faust
COLORADO COLLEGE LINES
Alexander Krushelnyski-Rylan Schwartz-Charlie Taft
Archie Skalbeck-Scott Winkler-William Rapuzzi
Hunter Fejes-Jordan DiGiando-Andrew Hamberg
Peter Maric-Jeff Collett-Jared Hanson
Peter Stoykeweych-Mike Boivin
Aaron Harstad-Eamonn McDermott
Ian Young-Joe Marciano
For more Wisconsin hockey coverage, follow Andy on Twitter (@AndyJohnsonB5Q)
You can also reach Andy via e-mail (AndyJohnsonB5Q@gmail.com)