Matchups: No. 10 Wisconsin at Boston College; Wisconsin at Merrimack
Dates: Friday/Saturday; Oct. 13/14
Locations: Chestnut Hill, Mass.; Conte Forum (7,884)/North Andover, Mass.; Lawler Rink (2,549)
Internet: Friday at BC (ESPN3)/Saturday at Merrimack (Merrimackathletics.com)
Radio: 1310 WIBA (FRI.)/1070 WTSO (SAT.)
After two straight weekends at home, the Badgers will hit the road for the first time and do so with a split series in Massachusetts no less. It will be an interesting trip on the heels of splitting the Big Ten opener last weekend against Ohio State.
But, Wisconsin will face two opponents who have yet to win a game this season as they head out East. Which could make for an interesting season for the unranked Badgers. Let’s take a look at this unique split weekend series.
About Boston College
Head Coach: Jerry York – 566-279-81 (24th Year at BC); 1033-614-115 (46th Year overall)
Notable: BC and Quinnipiac skated to a 1-1 tie last weekend to open the season, with the Eagles scoring via the Power Play in the third period to earn the tie. Wisconsin held the No. 1 team in the nation on the Power Play to 0-for-11 last weekend.
BC Stat Leaders:
Points: JD Dudek, Casey Fitzgerald, Jacob Tortora (1)
Goals: Fitzgerald (1)
Assists: Dudek and Tortora (1)
Save Pct.: Joseph Woll (.986)
Goals Against: Woll (0.92)
About Merrimack College
Head Coach: Mark Dennehy – 156-222-56 (13th Year at MC); 159-250-59 (14th Year overall)
Notable: Wisconsin and Merrimack have met just three times ever, with the Badgers holding a 2-1-0 lead in the series. It is UW’s first visit to Merrimack, who had eight different players record a point in the season opening series with Colgate last weekend.
Merrimack Stat Leaders:
Points: 8 players tied (1)
Goals: Ludvig Larsson, Derek Petti and Sami Tavernier (1)
Assists: 5 players tied (1)
Save Pct.: Drew Vogler (.918)
Goals Against: Vogler (1.95)
About Wisconsin Badgers
Head Coach: Tony Granato – 22-16-1 (2nd Year and overall)
Notable: Wisconsin was one of the better road teams in the country last season, posting a 9-4-0 overall record away from the Kohl Center. UW also got a lot of team production last weekend against Ohio State, with 10 different players registering a point in the series. Tarek Baker led all players with two goals while senior captain Cameron Hughes scored a goal and added an assist.
Wisconsin Stat Leaders:
Points: Will Johnson, Linus Weissbach, Trent Frederic (3)
Goals: Will Johnson, Linus Weissbach (2)
Assists: Frederic (2)
Save Pct.: Kyle Hayton (.891)
Goals Against: Hayton (2.35)
Friday: Wisconsin 3, Boston College 2
The Eagles could provide an interesting test, as they have a lot of power up front and play really solid defense. Wisconsin’s speed should make for a really interesting matchup, but I feel as though this is the Badgers game to take as long as they can stay out of the penalty box.
Saturday: Wisconsin 5, Merrimack 1
The Warriors aren’t even close to Wisconsin’s level and the trip to North Andover, Mass. should be an easy one. Simply put, this is the easier of the two games for the Badgers this weekend and UW should be able to overpower the hosts.