Series Preview: No.11 UW vs. No.3 N. Dakota

In the only regular season meeting between the two programs, the Badgers head to Grand Forks for their biggest Western Collegiate Hockey Association series of the season, as a big weekend over No.3 North Dakota could prove mighty dividends to No.11 Wisconsin in the race for its first WCHA regular season championship since 2000.

No.11 Wisconsin (10-5-1, 7-4-1 WCHA) vs. No.3 North Dakota (9-5-2, 6-5-1 WCHA)

Date/Time - Friday and Saturday, December 11-12 at 7:30/7 p.m. CT

Arena – Ralph Engelstad Arena (11,634) - Rink Size - 200 x 85

Television - Friday - NHL Network, Fox College Sports Central. Saturday - Fox College Sports Central

Radio - Wisconsin Radio Network (Brian Posick and Mike Cerniglia)

Series – UW leads 83-60-10 (36-30-7 in Grand Forks)

Last Meeting - Wisconsin defeated North Dakota, 4-1, in the third-place game of the 2009 WCHA Final Five on March 21.

North Dakota Series Notes:

UW went 3-2-0 against UND last season, splitting in Grand Forks and Madison, and winning in St. Paul, Minn. The Badgers have won the last two games in the series

UND sophomore forward David Toews was teammates with UW sophomore forwards Derek Stepan and Jordy Murray at Shattuck-St. Marys

UW equipment manager Nate LaPoint is a 2009 UND graduate and brother of current UND junior defenseman Derrick LaPoint

UND rookie Mike Cichy was teammates with UW junior goalie Brett Bennett last year with the Indiana Ice of the USHL

After an 0-6-1 start, Wisconsin got its first victory of the year last year on Nov. 1 at North Dakota

UW is 5-1-0 in its last six games at Ralph Engelstad Arena

Bennett won't make the trip after suffering a dislocated left shoulder at practice Tuesday. Neither will Murray - who missed last weekend with a shoulder injury suffered Nov. 28 at Michigan - and junior center Sean Dolan - who is hampered by an injured foot suffered against Tech.

North Dakota will be without senior defenseman Chay Genoway (90 career points) for the eighth and ninth straight games after suffering an apparent concussion against St. Cloud State Nov. 13. Senior center Chad VandeVelde (89 career points) is doubtful for the series after suffering an undisclosed injury Dec. 4 against Minnesota-Duluth.

Junior defenseman Brendan Smith is on a career-high seven-game scoring streak after posting two goals and five assists last weekend against Michigan Tech. The league's leading scorer in both league and overall statistics, his 1.60 points-per-game rank second in the country among all players and leads all defensemen.

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