For the first time in over two years, Wisconsin has returned to the national rankings in men’s ice hockey. As we have followed this young group over the past four months, it was clear that there was extreme potential. The only question was whether or not first year coach Tony Granato could hone and perfect the young team. At this point, it is safe to say that the team is definitely moving in the right direction.

Coming off three straight wins against nationally-ranked opponents Ohio State and Minnesota, the Badgers look to grow their Big Ten résumé this weekend as they take on the Michigan State Spartans in East Lansing. The Spartans currently occupy the cellar of the Big 10 standings, with a 5-15-2 (1-6-1 B1G) record, as opposed to the Badgers stellar 13-8-1 (6-2 B1G) record.

This series may serve as more of a tune-up than a test for the Badgers before next weekend’s huge home series against former-No. 1 Penn State. The Badgers have already swept the Spartans at home this year in back to back 5-1 wins in early January as they returned from their lengthy winter break. That series served as a spark-plug for the team at the start of Big Ten competition.

See if the young group can continue their winning ways on Friday and Saturday at 6 p.m. CT. Both games are being televised on FS Wisconsin Plus.