It's week four of the college hockey season, and Halloween weekend at that. This will be my first Halloween outside of Madison since 2004, and I'm a little bummed that I won't get to see the student section's creative costumes at the Kohl Center. Here's what I want to see (in the box scores and recaps) about the series against the Michigan Tech Huskies.
1. The Tech Power Play must be rendered ineffective
The Huskies suddenly are capable of scoring this season. Through five games, they have totaled 24 goals, with at least four in each game. The power play is good for much of the success, converting at a 37% rate. However, I believe that this is an anomaly, and that they can't keep up this pace-especially against a team with the Badgers' experience, talent, and sound system on defense. But the biggest key to keeping the power play ineffective: stay out of the box.
2. The Badger offense must bounce back
While the Tech offense has been good, Kevin Genoe and Josh Robinson have been allowing a large number of goals in net (3.8 per game). Mark Zengerle is having an immediate impact, with at least a point in all six games of his rookie season, and hopfully he'll keep it up. With apologies to HatchetJoe and Michael Mersch, Marky-Mark has been the big impact freshman so far, and I want to see him keep it up.
3. Avoid Overtime
First of all, both major Wisconsin football teams have been cardiac kids this year. I'm going to need blood pressure medication from football alone. Add to that the fact that in the last few years, Wisconsin hasn't fared too well in overtime games. The 0-3-4 OT record in the 08-09 season still haunts my dreams, and I get nervous every time we get bonus hockey. The Huskies, on the other hand, have already played in three overtime games this year alone, going 1-0-2. I hope the Badgers win both games this weekend, and win them early on to avoid giving me any more heart issues.
4. I want to hear that the Husky Husky is up to his old tricks
Let's face it, he's had some memorable (and ridiculous) visits to the Kohl Center. I'm hoping this is another one.
I specifically made my wishes vague enough this week that I won't have a problem like last week, when Denver goalie Adam Murray got banged up in practice and didn't play. Here's hoping these all come through this weekend.