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Wisconsin hockey series preview: Badgers host Ohio State to cap regular season

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Six seniors -- Matt Paape, Landon Peterson, Chase Drake, Joel Rumpel, Brad Navin and Joseph LaBate will play their final games at the Kohl Center this weekend.

Joel Rumpel will play his final game at the Kohl Center Saturday night against Ohio State.
Joel Rumpel will play his final game at the Kohl Center Saturday night against Ohio State.
Larry Radloff Photography

This weekend Wisconsin hosts Ohio State to finalize the 2014-15 regular season. Friday's game has a scheduled puck drop of 7:00 p.m. CT and will be televised on the American Sports Network, while Saturday's game will air on BTN at 6:00 p.m. CT.

Given the fact this is the final time the Badgers will play at home this year, I wanted to take a moment and tip my cap to the seniors on this club. As fans, we can complain and hang our heads about this season, but no one carries the burden of wins and losses more than the student-athletes putting on that cardinal and white sweater on Friday and Saturday nights.

The kids inside the locker room could have quit on this season a long time ago, in fact, one of them did. But the players that stuck around have continued to give an honest effort, regardless of what the record says. According to head coach Mike Eaves, UW's senior class -- Matt Paape, Landon Peterson, Chase Drake, Joel Rumpel, Brad Navin and Joseph LaBate -- deserve a lot of credit for that.

"A great part of (the seniors) legacy will be more than just winning the WCHA playoff championship and the Big Ten playoff championship last year," Eaves said. "A big part of the legacy will be the fact that they have held this group together through some really tough stuff -- stuff that would have torn other groups apart and has in the past in different sports.

"But the fact that they have come to the rink every day, willing to give it their all to get better and moving toward something will be a big part of the their legacy."

From a blog standpoint, all six players were nothing but professional in press conferences and interviews with me. It's not always easy to step up and answer questions from the media, especially when things aren't going well. The seniors lived up to their responsibility in that regard, and I respect that.

From the staff at Bucky's 5th Quarter -- thank you seniors, and best of luck in whatever your future endeavors hold.

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