Hockey Series of the Week: Michigan vs. Wisconsin
Much like last season, the Big Ten looks to be one of the tightest conferences in all of college hockey and not even a week into the season we have a great series to look out for. Both Wisconsin and Michigan open up the season undefeated at 2-0 and are looking to make some serious noise in the Big Ten.
Michigan ended last season in a three way tie for second place alongside Ohio State and Minnesota with 38 points.
The Wolverines started this year with a non-conference matchup against Arizona State with that matchup ending in a sweep. Game 1 ended in an easy 8-1 win as Michigan scored the first eight goals of the game before Arizona State finally got one through the net with less than three minutes to go in the game on a power play. The Wolverine offense was balanced the entire game with only Matty Beniers scoring multiple goals in the contest.
Game 2 saw most of the same dominance as the Wolverines cruised to a 3-0 shutout win. Goalie Strauss Mann saved all 17 of his shots on goal in the game.
The Wolverines received a ton of new talent over the offseason as they added a ten person freshman class with the talent level to be considered one of the best in the country. Matty Beniers, Kent Johnson and Owen Powers all made an immediate impact scoring in the Arizona State series.
Powers is considered by many to be one of the top picks in the 2021 NHL Draft and he is only 17 years old. Powers recorded three points in his Michigan debut with a goal and two assists as a defensemen.
Michigan improved to sixth in the rankings after the series and even have one first place vote.
As for the Wisconsin Badgers, even though they started out last season hot they finished last in the Big Ten with 25 points.
The Badgers kicked off Big Ten play last week and got a surprise upset victory over Notre Dame.
Game 1 ended with a 2-0 shutout victory as unlike last season the Badger goaltending and defense is what stepped up. Robbie Beydoun saved all 25 shots in the game and Linus Weissbach and Dylan Holloway were able to find the net.
Game 2 saw more offensive production as the Badgers were able to complete the sweep winning 5-3 over the Irish. Although superstar forward Cole Caufield was unable to score a goal in the series, his brother Brock Caufield found the net in the second game. The Badgers were able to force Notre Dame goalie Dylan St. Cyr out of the game as he could only save 17 shots while giving up five goals.
With Wisconsin moving up to No. 14 in the polls, this matchup has major implications in the Big Ten early on in the season.
Last season, Wisconsin was able to get out to a hot start before running into eventual Big Ten champs Penn State who destroyed all of the Badgers momentum for the rest of the season. With the young talent that Michigan has, maybe it can be this season’s Penn State for Wisconsin.
Series Prediction: Michigan sweeps 2-0
Game 1: Michigan 5, Wisconsin 2
Game 2: Michigan 6, Wisconsin 4
Logan Bourandas is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Sophomore / Broadcast Journalism