#2 Michigan vs. #14 Wisconsin Preview

The No. 2 Wolverines go for their 11th straight win when No. 14 Wisconsin comes to town tonight for the first game of the College Hockey Showcase. How do the Wolverines and Badgers match up in this critical non-conference rivalry game? Will the Wolverines add onto the nation's longest win streak?

The No. 2 Michigan Wolverines looks to extend their 10 game win streak when the No. 14-ranked Wisconsin Badgers come to Yost Ice Arena in Ann Arbor. How will the Wolverines fare as they try and take the first of two games in the 15th annual College Hockey Showcase this weekend in Ann Arbor?

Series Notes
Records: Michigan (11-1-0, 8-0-0 CCHA), Wisconsin (5-5-0, 2-4-0 WCHA)
Series vs. Wisconsin: Michigan leads 61-51-7
Season Series: First Meeting
Series in Ann Arbor: 31-14-5 Michigan
Last Meeting: 4-3 Michigan (11/24/2006)

U-M Offense vs. Wisconsin Defense
F - Kevin Porter (13-5-18, +9)
F - Chad Kolarik (6-8-14, +7)
F – Aaron Palushaj (5-7-12, -1)
F – Travis Turnbull (5-3-8, +11)
F - Carl Hagelin (4-4-8, +8)

U-M Goals/Game: 4.3
U-M Shots/Game: 29.3

Wisconsin Goals Allowed/Game: 2.9
Wisconsin Shots Allowed/Game: 27.8

Outlook: If Louie Caporusso was healthy, this one would be easy. Michigan has the talent top to bottom to outscore anyone in the nation. With Caporusso out, this match up gets a bit closer. Because the Wolverines are at home, I still like Michigan, but this is closer than it would be with the third line center from Canada.
Advantage: Michigan

Wisconsin Offense vs. U-M Defense
F – Kyle Turris (5-10-15, -1)
F – Ben Street (4-7-11, -1)
F – Blake Geoffrion (4-4-8, +2)
F – Patrick Johnson (2-5-7, +4)
D – Kyle Klubertanz (4-4-8, -1)

Wisconsin Goals/Game: 3.7
Wisconsin Shots/Game: 31.8

U-M Goals Allowed/Game: 2.1
U-M Shots Allowed/Game: 24.1

Outlook: Wisconsin will be the most offensive team the Wolverines have played since a 4-3 loss o the Minnesota Gophers to start the season. Will the Wolverines defense hold up to the challenge as Kyle Turris and the Badgers present the Michigan defense with its most difficult challenge as of late?
Advantage: Push

Goalies
Michigan
Billy Sauer
Record: 11-1-0
GAA: 2.08
Save Percentage: .913%

Wisconsin
Shane Connelly
Record: 4-5-0
GAA: 2.89
Save Percentage: .898%

Outlook: Is it time to start believing in Billy Sauer? If he can get the Wolverines through this weekend, I'll be a believer. Until then, this one is too close to call.
Advantage: Push

U-M Power Play vs. Wisconsin Penalty Kill
U-M Power Play: 23.3% (5th in CCHA, 14-for-60)
U-M Shorthanded Goals Allowed: 0

Wisconsin PK: 87% (37-for-54)
Wisconsin Shorthanded Goals: 1
Wisconsin PIM/Game: 22.4

Wisconsin Power Play vs. U-M Penalty Kill
Wisconsin Power Play: 26.0% (13-for-50)
Wisconsin Shorthanded Goals Allowed: 2

U-M PK: 87.5% (4th in CCHA, 56-for-64)
U-M Shorthanded Goals: 1
U-M PIM/Game: 18.0

Outlook: Special teams could be the Badgers biggest advantage in this series. If the Wolverines can't limit time spend in the penalty box, the Badgers could score some easy goals and kill U-M momentum. The Wolverines need to behave themselves on Friday night.
Advantage: Wisconsin

Prediction
Michigan is skating with a lot of confidence right now. Wisconsin comes into the College Hockey Showcase with a lot to prove. Which team will pick up this critical win in a tough non-conference match up. I like the Wolverines at home in a tight one.
4-2 Michigan

The Michigan Insider Top Stories