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Wisconsin women’s hockey: is something wrong with the defending national champs?

The Badgers are struggling to score, and win, recently. What’s up with that?!?

COLLEGE HOCKEY: FEB 04 Womens - Minnesota Duluth at Wisconsin Photo by Lawrence Iles/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

An interesting tweet came across the timeline on Friday night as the Wisconsin Badgers women’s hockey was losing to Minnesota-Duluth. and The Victory Press (and former B5Q contributor) writer Nicole Haase noted how many shots the Badgers have taken in their past six games and how few wins to which that has led.

Wisconsin lost 3-0 to Duluth on Friday, and have gone 2-3-1 in their past six games, while only giving up 16 shots on goal. When it was their turn on offense, the Badgers peppered Jojo Chobak with 45 (!!!) shots and not a single one found the back of the net. Chobak isn’t even Duluth’s starting goalie (senior Emma Soderberg is in the Olympics playing for Sweden currently) and she just completely shut down UW’s attack.

“We played well. We had a lot of shots. Sometimes the puck just doesn’t go in and bounces don’t go your way so we can’t hang our heads too low. We’re working hard and doing a lot of things right,” Grace Bowlby said after the game. Bowlby is a veteran defender, having been in the program for five years now, so she knows the right things to say, but there has to be some concern here.

The inability to score consistently couldn’t have come at a worse time either, as the Badgers are in the midst of a brutal portion of their schedule with a conference title in the balance. They were swept by Minnesota, split a series with St. Cloud State, won a random re-scheduled game against St. Thomas, and now have to win on Saturday night to earn a split with Duluth.

COLLEGE HOCKEY: FEB 04 Womens - Minnesota Duluth at Wisconsin Photo by Lawrence Iles/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

With the loss on Friday, the Badgers fell to third in the conference, behind OSU and Minnesota who are playing two of the bottom feeders in the WCHA this weekend and should complete their sweeps on Saturday. The Gophers have five games remaining in the regular season: one against Bemidji State, two against St. Cloud and two against St. Thomas. They will be heavy favorites in all five and should coast to the regular season conference title.

Wisconsin has two more weekends to get their offense on track before the postseason starts. If they want to give a full defense of their national title, they’d better hope some of these shots they’re taking find the back of the net.

The Badgers and Bulldogs are back on the La Bahn Arena ice Saturday night at 8 p.m. CT on BTN+.