BY ANDY BAGGOT
MADISON, Wis. — The Wisconsin men's hockey team has embarked on some historically significant trips this season, but nothing like this.
At the behest of the Big Ten Conference, the Badgers will play Ohio State at Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio, on Thursday night before moving on to finish the series at iconic Madison Square Garden in New York City on Saturday night.
The latter piece will be done in union with the UW men's basketball team, which will face Rutgers as part of an uncommon doubleheader at MSG on Saturday afternoon.
The logistics of the Big Ten series are certainly out of the ordinary given that the Badgers have never skated there, but it's a series of back stories that make this journey so unique.
Well before Tony Granato took over as head coach at his alma mater last March, he made a spectacular NHL debut with the New York Rangers in 1988-89, establishing a scoring record that still stands.
Well before Don Granato became an associate head coach alongside his older brother, he played his only professional seasons in Columbus and later made his pro coaching debut there.
Well before Mark Osiecki became an associate head coach at Wisconsin, he not only made appearances with multiple NHL teams at Madison Square Garden, his head coaching career was effectively launched by a decision Don Granato made to take a job in Columbus.
The first order of business, though, is business.
The Badgers (11-8-1 overall, 4-2 in the Big Ten) are getting ready to face their fourth top-10 opponent of the season and second in two weeks.
Photo: Wisconsin Badgers
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