Preview: No.13 Mankato at No. 10 Wisconsin

In the home regular season finale for the Wisconsin Badgers, there is plenty on the line in terms of home ice in the playoffs and a birth in the NCAA tournament.

What You Need to Know ...

Records: Wisconsin Badgers (13-11-6, 9-9-4 WCHA) vs. Minnesota State (15-10-4, 9-9-4 WCHA)

Dates/Times: Fri.-Sat, Feb. 15-16 at 7/8 p.m. CT

Location: Kohl Center (15,237)

Live TV: FSN North with Paul Braun and Rob Andringa

Tape-Delay TV: Wisconsin Public Television with Robb Vogel and Ron Vincent

Radio: Wisconsin Radio Network (Brian Posick/Bill Howard) ... affiliates throughout Wisconsin, including in Madison on WIBA 1310 AM

Blogging: Badger Nation Hockey Board by Benjamin Worgull

Last Meeting: T, 1-1, Mankato, Minn., 2/11/08

Series Records: Wisconsin leads 14-11-3

At UW: UW leads 10-3-1

The Badgers and Mavericks are currently tied for fourth place in the WCHA standings with 22 points and a 9-9-4 WCHA record. Both teams are three points clear of sixth-place Minnesota Duluth, however they remain within six points of ninth place.

This weekend's series pits two of the hottest teams in the nation. The Badgers have just one loss in their past nine games and are 5-1-3 over that stretch, while the Mavericks have won six consecutive games and are 12-4-3 since Nov. 30.

The Badgers earned one point against the Mavericks when the teams met on Dec. 7-8 in Mankato. MSU won 3-1, before the teams skated to a 1-1 tie. Last season, the teams split in Madison, but the Badgers are 5-1-0 over the last six games of the series at the Kohl Center.

Wisconsin climbed into a tie for 11th in the pairwise rankings after taking three of four points at Michigan Tech last weekend. The Badgers were No. 15 last week. The pairwise rank-ings mimic the selection process for the 16-team NCAA tournament. Minnesota State is tied for eighth in the pairwise rankings .

Wisconsin has at least one power-play goal in each of its last five series after doing so in just two of the previous six series. The UW went 1-for-13 last weekend at Michigan Tech on the power play and is now 23-for-136 (16.9 percent) with the man advantage this season in all games to rank fourth in the WCHA.The UW power play ranks sixth in WCHA action at 12.6 percent (12-for-95).

The Badgers have given up more than two goals just once in the last nine games. The team has allowed two goals or less in six consecutive games. Junior goaltender Shane Connelly is 5-1-3 with a 1.62 goals-against average and .937 save percentage over his last nine contests.

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