The Wisconsin Badgers men’s hockey team had a big first weekend of the season. They went on the road and swept No. 20 Notre Dame (0-2-0-0), 3-0 on Friday night and 5-3 on Saturday night. The undefeated Badgers (2-0-0-0) moved back into the USCHO.com rankings for the first time since early last season and are now the No. 14 team in the nation.
Most teams haven’t opened their seasons yet, so the top-five of North Dakota, Boston College, Minnesota-Duluth, Denver and Minnesota State remain unchanged, but fellow Big Ten member Michigan waxed Arizona State this past weekend and moved up to No. 6. Ohio State, Penn State and Minnesota are ranked No. 9-No. 11 and the Fighting Irish and Sun Devils both fell out of the rankings after being swept.
The Badgers also received some individual recognition from the past weekend of play as senior goalie Robbie Beydoun, who is a grad transfer from Michigan Tech, was named the second star of the week by the Big Ten Conference after winning his first two starts as a Badger.
He finished the series with 54 saves and a 1.50 goals-against average to go along with a .947 save percentage and the pair of wins. He also recorded his fourth career clean sheet and became the fifth Badger goalie to record a shutout in his first start at Wisconsin. This is obviously his first weekly Big Ten award and it is the Badgers first since Alex Turcotte was name third star in March last year.
Michigan junior goalie Strauss Mann was the first star of the week, pitching a shutout of his own while having a better GAA and save percentage, while third star was Michigan freshman forward Kent Johnson who had five points in the series against Arizona State.
In other news, top line forward Dylan Holloway will now miss the rest of the first half of the season as he joins Team Canada training camp for the World Juniors. Head coach Tony Granato is, clearly, not pleased.
“They’ve said all along that they need and want and he has to be here,” Granato said on Saturday. “So from my side of things, I don’t think it’s right because his opportunity here to get ready for a World Junior tournament playing games like this is a heck of a lot better than scrimmaging 20 of your teammates that you’re going to be in the tournament with.”
Just something to keep an eye on as we move through the first half of the season.