As the calendar inches towards October, the college hockey season is not far behind. The Badgers open up the year in the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame game against Michigan Tech on Sunday, October 1st at 2PM at the Kohl Center. Michigan Tech should provide a tough test in the unusually early season opener.

The best way to watch this game is in person. And the best way to get tickets is in the annual student shootout even at the Kohl Center. Tuesday, September 12th, from 6:30 to 8, students will have the chance to win free season tickets by scoring in an accuracy challenge.

As the school year got started, so did practices. The Badgers skated at LaBahn Arena last Wednesday as the begin the quest for a successful season and Big Ten championship.

While the Big Ten title was never expected to be easy, it got a little more difficult in the offseason. This is because the Notre Dame Fighting Irish hockey team have joined the Big Ten starting this season. If the decals on the ice are any indication, the Irish are ready to hit the ground running in their new conference.

John Buccigross, ESPN anchor and college hockey analyst, announced his preseason top 10 the other day. His list included four of seven Big Ten teams, with Wisconsin rounding out the list. It is becoming clearer and clearer what the expectations for this team are, both in and outside the locker room.

In player personnel news, four players were awarded the title of assistant captain, in support of senior captain Cameron Hughes. The four players also wearing letters this season are Ryan Wagner, Jake Linhart, Seamus Malone, and Trent Frederic. While a five-man leadership group may be unprecedented, each player serves a purpose in the team’s success and replacement of former captain Luke Kunin. Lastly, those goalie pads in the middle, possibly Kyle Hayton’s, are looking as fresh as any pads in the country.