This weekend, first-ranked Wisconsin Badgers (3-1-0) will face off against the fourth-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes (4-2-0) in Madison.
This is the first home series that the Badgers will play following a long recess due to a number of positive COVID-19 tests on the team, and follows the Badger’s sweep of Minnesota State.
Despite the long break, the Badgers look to be playing at top form already. Last week, Kennedy Blair earned WCHA Goaltender of the week honors after saving 18 of 20 shots in the first game of the series against Minnesota State, and putting up a shutout in the second game. Grace Bowlby was also awarded Defenseman of the week after posting assists on all three of Wisconsin’s goals in the first game on Saturday.
The Buckeyes have been struck with a similar delay, but have still looked strong thus far. Following the split series against the Badgers, the Buckeyes went on to sweep Bemidji State, outscoring the Beavers by a margin of 11-2 on the series. A particular bright spot for Ohio State has been Freshman Riley Brengman, who put up her first two points in the series with a goal and an assist. Another freshman, Jenna Buglioni, recorded six points for the Buckeyes with three goals and three assists on the weekend.
The last time these two teams played, the series was split with Wisconsin losing the opener but regaining the momentum to win the second game. After the Buckeyes took a strong 3-1 lead to close at the first period in the opener, the Badgers were able to score six unanswered goals for the rest of the series, five of which came during the second game in a shut-out effort.
The Badgers will look to continue this offensive firepower against the Buckeyes, and will need to prevent Ohio State from once again taking an early lead — the Buckeyes have only allowed more than two goals twice so far this season, both of which came from Wisconsin.
The Buckeyes’ front line will once again be a formidable matchup for the Badger defense, having scored 11 goals this past weekend, but Goaltender Kennedy Blair will once again look to keep the Big Ten contenders in check.