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Players to watch and things to know for the Badgers men's hockey series vs. Minnesota

Players to watch and things to know for the Badgers men's hockey series vs. Minnesota


When, where: 4 p.m. today and Sunday, LaBahn Arena.

TV: Fox Sports Wisconsin, with Brian Posick, Bill Brophy and Piper Shaw.

Web stream: (requires TV sign-in).

Radio: 1310 AM, with Mike Heller and Ian Perrin.

Badgers (5-5, 5-2-0-1 Big Ten)

Coach: Tony Granato, 67-77-12 in his fifth season at UW and overall.

Player to watch: Before missing UW’s final four games of 2020 while in COVID-19 protocol, senior center Tarek Baker had a goal and two assists against Penn State on Nov. 24, his first multiple-point effort in 44 games.

You should know: After having no more than four days off between games in the first phase of the season, the Badgers are emerging from the longest midseason layoff in their 58-year modern era when exhibition games are included. They’ve had 35 days off since a 3-1 victory at Ohio State on Dec. 4. ... For only the sixth time in 51 seasons as conference foes, the Badgers didn’t win a game in regulation or overtime against Minnesota in 2019-20. They were 0-3-1 with a shootout victory.

Golden Gophers (10-0, 8-0-0 Big Ten)

Coach: Bob Motzko, 44-30-11 in his third season at Minnesota, 320-222-60 in his 16th season overall.

Player to watch: Junior left wing Sampo Ranta, a one-time Badgers recruit, scored three goals in two games against Arizona State. He was named the Big Ten’s second star of the week and has seven goals for the season.

You should know: The Gophers have trailed for only 19:36 out of the 600 minutes they have played (3%). They’ve led for 456:53 (76%). ... The two shutouts Jack LaFontaine has this season is the same as the team’s total for the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons combined. Including two seasons at Michigan, he has been pulled from three of his five starts against the Badgers. One of them, however, a 4-1 victory on Nov. 22, 2019, was due to injury.

— Todd D. Milewski

Badgers men’s hockey players in action at the World Junior Championship

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