It’s a No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup for this week’s NCAA Division I Game of the Week!
Ohio State (6-0-0) at Wisconsin (8-0-0) | Saturday, Oct. 23, at 2 p.m. CT | Sunday, Oct. 24 at 2 p.m. CT
Both teams are undefeated coming into this matchup, which makes it all the more exciting. They head to Madison this week with the nation’s number one ranking on the line; defending that title is old news for the Badgers at this point, but earning it would be a first for the Buckeyes’ program, which should only stoke the flames between these two.
Along with some exciting regular-season battles the last few years, these squads have also built up quite the rivalry with championships on the line in the postseason. The Badgers had the last laugh back in the spring. After splitting the regular season series, Wisconsin defeated Ohio State in overtime to win the WCHA championship and then knocked them off again, 4-2, at the Frozen Four. All of that sets up what’s sure to be an intense next chapter in this series.
Players to Watch
Ohio State: Sophie Jaques
Two offenses with heavy firepower on each side are clashing this weekend, which means that there’s arguably nothing more important than stellar defending to gain an edge. Jaques provides just that for the Buckeyes. She’s been a strong two-way defender throughout her career but she’s asserted herself as perhaps the best in the entire conference. There’s no denying she has the skill to keep possession away from Wisconsin’s forwards.
Wisconsin: Makenna Webster
The Badgers’ sophomore is having an excellent start to the season. She currently leads the team in scoring with 21 points in eight games, and had a two-goal game against Minnesota Duluth in last week’s series opener. Webster is one of several highly skilled forwards for the Badgers, but she’s been an important piece so far in maintaining offensive depth even with key players gone with Team USA for the season.
Gabriella Fundaro: This is a nearly impossible one to predict. I’m going to be boring and go with a series split. The Badgers were thoroughly outplayed in the first period of Game 2 against Duluth last week — that may be enough of an early-season wake-up call for them (they came back to win in overtime, 5-4). The Buckeyes have taken care of their schedule so far, and I think they’ll push Wisconsin a fair amount here. I say they play well enough to take some first-place votes come Monday.
Anne Tokarski: I agree with Gabs that this kind of series could go either way...but I’m going to hand it to Wisconsin to take both games. While the Buckeyes have undoubtedly played some dominant matches to start off their season strong, the Badgers have so much firepower that there’s no doubt they’ll be coming out with all cylinders firing when the puck drops at 2 PM. I don’t think Ohio State will be a pushover team for Wisconsin, but I do think the Badgers will come out on top of the weekend.
Around the (rest of the) NCAA:
Friday, October 22:
- Minnesota at Colgate at 2 p.m. ET (ESPN+)
- Syracuse at Lindenwood at 2 p.m. ET (Stretch)
- UConn at Merrimack at 2 p.m. ET (College Sports Live)
- Maine at New Hampshire at 2 p.m. ET (College Sports Live)
- Franklin Pierce at Post at 4 p.m. ET (CACC Network)
- Mercyhurst at Cornell at 6 p.m. ET (ESPN+)
- Harvard at Dartmouth at 6 p.m. ET (ESPN+)
- Boston University at Rensselaer at 6 p.m. ET (RPI TV)
- RIT at St. Lawrence at 6 p.m. ET (ESPN+)
- Providence at Union at 6 p.m. ET (ESPN+)
- Holy Cross at Vermont at 6 p.m. ET (College Sports Live)
- Clarkson at Bemidji State at 6 p.m. ET (B1G+)
- Saint Anselm at Yale at 6 p.m. ET (ESPN+)
- Plattsburgh State at Saint Michael’s at 7 p.m. ET (exhibition) (Stretch)/
Saturday, Oct. 23:
- Syracuse at Lindenwood at 12:30 p.m. ET (Stretch)
- Maine at Boston College at 2 p.m. ET (College Sports Live)
- Penn State at Brown at 2 p.m. ET (ESPN+)
- Minnesota at Colgate at 2 p.m. ET (ESPN+)
- Minnesota Duluth at St. Thomas at 2 p.m. ET (B1G+)
- Providence at Rensselaer at 3 p.m. ET (RPI TV)
- Boston University at Union at 3 p.m. ET (ESPN+)
- Clarkson at Bemidji State at 3 p.m. ET (B1G+)
- Mercyhurst at Cornell at 3 p.m. ET (ESPN+)
- Saint Anselm at Harvard at 3 p.m. ET (ESPN+)
- Yale at Sacred Heart at 5:30 p.m. ET (NEC Front Row)
- Saint Michael’s at Plattsburgh State at 3 p.m. ET (exhibition) (stream)/
Sunday, October 24: