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Early reactions to Wisconsin’s 2018–19 women’s hockey schedule

Time to talk puck

David Stluka

The Badgers are going to be stacked in 2018–19.

Then again, so will a select few other teams. As the WCHA released the women’s hockey 2018-19 schedule this week, the Badgers will test their patience again as it’s been seven eight years since a national title.

Key games

Given that the NCAA returns a bunch of Olympians, the parity of the 2017–18 season is gone. So, that really limits Wisconsin’s competition. The asterisk here is Ohio State, which certainly could maintain last year’s performance. The Buckeyes are solidly the fourth-best team in the WCHA, but the gap between them and Wisconsin/Minnesota has widened.

Minnesota is going to be a key rival. Duh. Next.

Duluth returns Olympic hero Maddie Rooney... which isn’t good for anybody.

And that’s about all.

So that leaves us with eight critical matchups in the 2018–19 season:

  • Oct. 12–14 vs. Duluth
  • Oct. 26–28 vs. Minnesota
  • Jan. 18–20 at Minnesota
  • Feb. 15–17 at Duluth

Yes, that’s right. Wisconsin will play four critical games at LaBahn in October and, on paper, won’t come close to being challenged again after that point.

Notes

Wisconsin will go from Oct. 28—Jan. 18 without being challenged at all, and the early games will be in conflict with football games. With many turning their attention to hockey after football is done, they may be left wondering where all the competition has gone.

Ticket prices are going up for women’s hockey games, as demand has been very strong the past few years. General admissions will increase from $5 to $7, and season ticket packages are going from $50 to $65. Still very affordable tickets, and a good sign for the popularity of Wisconsin hockey.