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Wisconsin hockey: news roundup and playoff information

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Both the women’s and men’s team take the ice this weekend for postseason hockey.

@BadgerMHockey; UW Communications

We’ve got playoff hockey coming at you this weekend from Minneapolis, Minnesota, for the women’s team, and Columbus, Ohio, for the men’s team. There are few things more exciting and memorable than playoff hockey in the whole entire world. I still remember where I was (LaVille Apartments #903) when Jack Skille beat Cornell in triple OT in 2006 and I also have many memories of my Philadelphia Flyers never quite doing enough to win it all.

But all of that is long in the past. It’s time to look ahead to the 2020 playoffs and see if the men and women of Wisconsin can make new memories for all of us.

  • The WCHA regular season champion Badgers did not have to bother with a first round playoff series last week as they got a bye right to the Final Faceoff at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis. Their opponent will be a familiar one as the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs will once again try and give UW fits on the ice.

B5Q will be covering the game from the press box (and then hopefully we’ll be going back on Sunday as well) so expect some posts and tweets about the game this weekend. Minnesota vs. Ohio State is the other semifinal.

The Badgers won three games against the Bulldogs this year, but their last game of the season was a 5-5 tie that took a monumental comeback to get so they are not to be taken lightly.

  • The men’s team, who finished a disappointing last in the B1G, will be heading back to Columbus (where they ended the regular season) in hopes of continuing their recent string of hot play.

Here is the bracket so we can start mapping out the improbable path forward for the Badgers automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Puck drop for game one of the series is at 6 p.m. CST on Friday. The Buckeyes are one of the few teams the Badgers had success against this year, winning twice, losing once, and winning once in double OT.

  • Freshman forward Alex Turcotte was named the B1G’s third star of the week, his second straight week winning the honor, for his showing against OSU. He recorded three points on the weekend to help the Badgers earn five points in their Big Ten regular season finale and led all players on Friday with a goal and an assist for his third consecutive multi-point game.
  • Freshman forward Cole Caufield ended the season as the conference’s leading scorer, totaling 24 points in 24 conference games (11 goals, 13 assists). Caufield also led the conference in shots on goal with 84. The Badgers will need him to be buzzing around the net to get past Ohio State.
  • There was talk about a new holiday college hockey tournament coming to Milwaukee’s Fiserv Forum and now we know who will be playing in it. If we may hearken back to 2006 again, Milwaukee was pretty good to the Badgers.
  • The finalists for the Patty Kazmaier Award were announced on Tuesday afternoon and there was a little bit of surprise that Darryl Watts was not named. Her teammate, Abby Roque, is one of the finalists along with Alina Mueller from Northeastern and Elizabeth Giguere from Clarkson.

Former B5Q contributor Nicole Haase has a great thread about how this award is usually selected, but here is, I think, the most important part about Roque:

You should read the whole thread though because it’s interesting to read how some of the people deciding on the award may not be the most qualified to do so.

Anyways, Roque is a deserving choice and hopefully will hear her name called when the winner is announced.

  • While Watts won’t win her second Patty Kaz Award, she did win the WCHA Forward of the Month for February soooooo, I guess that’s something!