For the third consecutive season, the Northern Michigan University hockey team will begin their 36-game regular season schedule with a series against the Wisconsin Badgers.
The two teams played at a neutral site in 2012, at the Resch Center in Green Bay. NMU won both games to begin the season 2-0.
The series shifts back to Madison this weekend, where the Wildcats have had little success in recent years. Wisconsin is considered one of the elite teams in all of college hockey, so NMU will get a tough test right out of the gates.
“It’s going to be a little bit of baptism under fire for these guys,” said NMU head coach Walt Kyle. “I think that’s healthy. It’s certainly going to be difficult early. Once you weather the storm and get through it, you’ll be a better and stronger team.”
“Collectively their team plays very well together. They play a very solid defensive game,” said Kyle about the Badgers. “They have the personnel and experience to make a run at a national title this year. It’ll be a busy weekend for us,” added Kyle.
“The nerves will be there the first few shifts, but they just have to stay as calm as they can, make the simple plays, and do what they do best,” said Wildcats forward Stephan Vigier about NMU’s younger players.
“They have a run and gun, high end offense that moves the puck really well,” said NMU defenseman Wade Epp. “If we take charge and play up, I think we’ll be just fine.”
Puck drop is set for 8:07 p.m. on Friday and at 9:07 p.m. on Saturday. NMU is 12-31 all-time on the road against the Badgers.