Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2011

Minnesota hockey #1 coming into Madison this weekend

By Nicole
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It was going to be a rough weekend for the Badgers with the Gophers coming to town, but now there's added pressure because Minnesota is ranked #1 in both the USCHO.com poll and the USA Today/US Hockey poll.

The Border Battle always brings added pressure and the Gophers were doing well while the Badgers have struggled.

There's speculation that goalie John Rumpel, who's been regularly playing on Saturday nights, may get the start on both nights of the series.

The Badgers will be hoping for a split of the series - a sweep is basically out of the question with Minnesota's talent.

Wisconsin has to find a way to limit mistakes. They have scored multiple own goals and continue to give up silly penalties and they are absolutely awful on the penalty kill, which is actually quite frustrating. I know there's only so much the goalies and D can do when they're constantly on the PK, but defense was also supposed to be the strength of this team and that hasn't played out. While its great that the possible issue of not being able to score goals hasn't been evident, the fact that the D hasn't stepped up on the PK is disconcerting.

No one expects the Badgers to do anything this year, but the sparks of offense do give hope for next season. Its a young team and if they keep this up and gather themselves some experience, they should be a force to reckon with next season. We just have to slug through this season first.

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