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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Sunday, December 03, 2023

The Badgers split last weekend's home series against the top-ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers.

No. 13 Badgers host important series against middling Spartans Friday, Saturday

After splitting last weekend with Penn State, No. 13 Wisconsin (9-7, 7-5 Big Ten) will face Michigan State (6-8-2, 5-8-1 Big Ten) at home this weekend in another Big Ten series. 

This will be the first time the Badgers face off against the Spartans this season, as their previously scheduled series was postponed due to a COVID-19 case within the Wisconsin program earlier this winter. Last season, Wisconsin faced Michigan State four times but only walked away victorious once.

Badger forward Cole Caufield will be looking to continue his hot streak this weekend. The sophomore has scored at least one point in the last eight straight games and currently leads the Big Ten with 21 points (10 goals, 11 assists).

Wisconsin’s two main goaltenders are also coming off of a successful weekend. Freshman Cameron Rowe only allowed one goal across 46 shots (.960 save percentage) in the Badgers’ first game against Penn State and graduate transfer Robbie Beydoun helped fuel a comeback attack by only allowing one goal across 22 shots (.907) in game two. 

Rowe and Beydoun are also a large part of the reason Wisconsin is currently ranked third in the Big Ten — while they have been out-shot 535-468 across 16 games, they have outscored their opponents 57-46. 

The Badgers will need to perform well on offense in order to be successful this weekend — Michigan State’s junior goaltender Drew DeRidder currently leads the nation in saves (506) and shots faced (540), and is ranked third in the Big Ten in save percentage (.937). So far this season, he has allowed two or fewer goals in half of his games.

Spartan defenseman Tommy Miller is also someone to be on the lookout for. The senior currently leads the Big Ten in blocked shots with 48 and average 3.0 blocks per game, which ranks third and second, respectively, in the country.

Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. CT on Friday with streaming on Fox Sports Wisconsin PLUS and 3 p.m. CT on Saturday on Fox Sports Wisconsin.

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