Home Series - Wisconsin Badgers

The University of Minnesota Duluth Puppies host the Wisconsin Badgers in what could potentially be the last visit for Bucky to the North Shore.  The pups were inconsistent yet again last weekend beating the 9th ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish 3 to 1 on Thursday, but falling short on Friday losing 4 to 1.  I'm not gonna cry over last weekend anymore, i've shed to many tears already, so lets move up and remind the Dogs to bring their brooms this weekend and sweep the Little Red back to cheese country.

Bucky Badger has had a lot of luck in past years, but struggled in recent ones.  Last year the Wisconsin went 17-18-2 overall (11-15-2 WCHA) losing to Denver in the first round of the WCHA Final Five conference tournament.  Head Coach Mike Eaves, who also played for the Badgers, has had a lot of luck with the team, winning a National Championship in 2006.

Wisconsin's season looked very bright before the season started, even after losing star defenseman Justin Schultz (who was arguable the best defenseman in all of college hockey last year), until eligibility issues with upcoming freshman and Anaheim Ducks prospect Nic Kerdiles came into play.  The Badgers were looking forward to Kerdiles, along with other notable freshman Morgan Zulinick, to post high numbers this year, adding to the returning firepower of Mark Zengerle and Michael Mersh who combined for 80 points last season.

(Photo: Dave Harwig - http://viewthroughmylens.net)

So, Kerdiles won't be making the trek up north this weekend but either will Derek Lee, who fell off his moped earlier this week (lol).  Obviously this hurts Bucky, as Derek Lee took over Justin Schultz's duties on the Badger power play.  Also, for those of you wondering, Kerdiles who was originally banned for the year from college hockey, got his sentence reduced to 10 games.

The Badgers are 0-2 this year, being swept in a neutral site by Northern Michigan 1 to 2 and 2 to 4.  They did get one earlier win against the US Under-18 Team in preseason play, though.  It was a start that caught Wisconsin fans off-guard as they were hyped up to be a top-end team this year returning much experience.

Wisconsin was ranked 18th overall in the USCHO preseason poll and predicted to finish 4th in the WCHA preseason media poll.  Now I see College Hockey News has moved them all the way down to 10th after the Kerdiles incident and recent struggle to find wins.

(Photo: Dave Harwig - http://viewthroughmylens.net)

Watch out for Mark Zengerle and Michael Mersh to try and find the back of the net, as well as freshman Morgan Zulinick.  Blue line defenders Frankie Simonelli and John Ramage will also play aggressively and hold the line well for the Badgers.  As for goalies, both Joel Rumpel and Landon Peterson both have played, although Rumpel has better numbers and was the supposedly starter for the year from the amount of playing time he had last year.

Should be a fun last series for the two teams and usually is between spooning states.  Badgers should come out playing hard and the Puppies are gonna need to skate both nights if they're going to earn all 4 points!

I'll see ya at Amsoil!!...  And the Curling Club :)

Off Wisconsin, On Duluth!



Well we learned Morgan Zulinick is a cheap ass punk.

and we learned ramage still is as well.