The preseason No. 1 ranked Wisconsin Badgers finally received part of their schedule from the WCHA on Friday afternoon and they will open up their (technical) title defense against Ohio State on Nov. 27. The season starts the weekend before, but the Badgers will be forced to wait one more week before hitting the ice for the first time in eight months.
Best wishes, warmest regards— Wisconsin Hockey (@BadgerWHockey) November 6, 2020
The #Badgers pic.twitter.com/TPBQPRsGb0
We have to say that the two hockey accounts absolutely killed it with their schedule announcement tweets. Tommy Boy and then Schitt’s Creek? ::chef’s kiss emoji::
Here are the first four, admittedly difficult, series that the Badgers will play this fall:
Nov. 27-28 at No. 5 Ohio State
Dec. 4-5 at No. 4 Minnesota
Dec. 11-12 vs. No. 8 Minnesota Duluth
Dec. 18-19 vs. No. 5 Ohio State
Hear what #Badgers head coach Mark Johnson had to say about today's @WCHA_WHockey schedule announcement pic.twitter.com/votg5HTfMm— Wisconsin Hockey (@BadgerWHockey) November 6, 2020
According to an article from the Wisconsin State Journal’s Todd Milewski, the first half of the season will see the WCHA split into two pods:
For the 2020 portion of the season, the teams are split into two three-team groups that largely play among themselves. The Big Ten schools are in one and Bemidji State, Minnesota State and St. Cloud State are in the other.
The exception is Minnesota Duluth, which will play two series against teams from each pool before the Christmas break. Flowers said the Bulldogs will scale up to Big Ten testing standards when it’s playing one of those teams.
The three B1G schools have a higher level of COVID-19 testing than the other schools in the league which is why the WCHA decided on this strategy for the first half of the season. The second half of the season will start on Jan. 1.
WCHA women's commissioner Jennifer Flowers says the league hopes each team will play 22-24 games in total in the regular season, which leaves 14-16 to schedule for the 2021 portion.— Todd Milewski (@ToddMilewski) November 6, 2020
The Badger lost All-American goalie Kristen Campbell and USA Hockey Player of the Year Abby Roque from last year’s team but they are one of those teams that reloads instead of rebuilds.