The University of Minnesota Golden Gophers will hop on the bus to Mad Town this weekend to take on the hometown University of Wisconsin Badgers. Any time the Gophers take on the Badgers, there's lots of bad blood and ill feelings between the two squads, which is part of what makes the rivalry so great.
The Badgers play a very defensive style of hockey. Their goal is to clog up the shooting lanes with sticks and limbs and force the opposing team to settle for long shots from the outside. They very rarely have a defensive breakdown and sport a very solid corps of D-men lead by Ryan McDonangh and Jake Gardiner. While the Gophers are coming off a much needed sweep of Alaska-Anchorage, the Badgers are coming off their own convincing sweep of the University of New Hampshire. Many coaches picked Wisconsin to finish third in the WCHA this year, so they are expected to contend and be a solid team.
I would not be surprised to see a split in the series this weekend. I think that the Gophers will win Friday night 4-2, while the Badgers will win a much tighter game on Saturday 2-1. Let's see how the Gophers will fare without Senior winger Jay Barriball, who was hurt in practice this week and will not be making the trip with the team.
Drop the puck!