Disturbing trend on the road looms over Badgers

With three Big Ten Conference home victories under their belt, the Badgers hope to continue their winning streak on the road against Iowa (0-4-1 Big Ten, 6-5-1 overall) and Nebraska (1-2-2, 5-4-2) this weekend.

However, the Badgers (3-1-1, 6-4-3) have yet to win on the road this season. In away games, Wisconsin has continuously struggled to find the back of the net. They tied Ohio State, Kentucky and UW-Milwaukee and lost to Penn State, UCLA and Pepperdine in their last six away games.

Against Ohio State, Kentucky and UW-Milwaukee, the games stretched into grueling double overtimes, with no goals scored at all in the Ohio State and Kentucky games and only one goal for each team in the UW-Milwaukee game.

Against Penn State, the Badgers couldn’t find offensive footing while the typically strong defense struggled, resulting in a lopsided 4-0 loss, although in terms of the shot count the Badgers had 11 shots to the Nittany Lions’ 13.

On the season, Wisconsin has averaged 1.15 goals per game, while Iowa has averaged 1.33 and Nebraska has averaged 1.36. While Wisconsin does hold a better record, both Iowa and Nebraska each have a slight edge in goal scoring.

But the Badgers have successfully won against statistically stronger offenses, with last weekend’s upset of Minnesota highlighting that trend. Their win against the previously undefeated and favorite No. 11 Minnesota at home last weekend in a nail-biting 1-0 back and forth game was critical for the Badgers. Minnesota has dominated their season openers, scoring 25 goals so far for their season, but only managed four shots against Wisconsin. But once again, the Badgers benefited from having the home turf advantage, with an attendance of 1,450 fans, the largest audience since 2001.

The Badgers are now currently locked in a four-way tie for second pace in the Big Ten standings with Michigan, Northwestern and Penn State. Translating its success at home to wins on the road against Iowa and Nebraska will be absolutely necessary for Wisconsin to climb in what is definitely a conference dead-heat.

Wisconsin will take on Iowa Thursday at 7 p.m., and will then go on to challenge Nebraska Sunday at 1 p.m.

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