Things are getting serious for the Wisconsin Badgers men’s hockey team.
The No. 3 Badgers have 10 games remaining against five teams, all of which are in-conference. They sit second in Big Ten standings, four points behind the No. 8 Michigan State Spartans, who have played two more games than the Badgers.
The Badgers fully control their destiny. They have been playing at a high level all season. Kyle McClellan continues to stand out in net, and the Badgers’ defensive core continues to be one of the best in the nation.
The Badgers’ secret sauce will be to stay on the gas pedal. They have to keep playing the game that has worked so well for them, and they need to find ways to keep improving their game.
“One thing about our sport is it’ll humble you in a hurry,” head coach Mike Hastings said in a Jan. 12 press conference, and he’s right.
But if the Badgers continue to push while keeping standards high, they have every chance to go far in Big Ten and national championships.
They will have a chance to overtake the Spartans in the Big Ten standings this coming weekend. In March, they will face the Spartans again in their last games of the regular season, which is shaping up to be a critical matchup.
Still, there is a lot of hockey to go before the postseason. The Badgers have to put in a lot of work between now and then to stay in the race for the Big Ten regular season title and national championship.
Ian Wilder is a senior staff writer and current men’s hockey beat reporter for The Daily Cardinal. He’s a former state politics and features reporter. Follow him on Twitter at @IanWWilder.