Big Ten Men's Hockey Media Day - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Big Ten Men's Hockey Media Day

Wisconsin head coach Mike Eaves Wisconsin head coach Mike Eaves
Wisconsin senior defenseman Frankie Simonelli Wisconsin senior defenseman Frankie Simonelli

St. Paul, MN (WQOW) -- The college hockey landscape has changed heading into the 2013-14 season, but the Wisconsin hockey team expects to compete for titles no matter what conference it's in.

The first-ever Big Ten Men's Hockey Tournament will take place here at  the Xcel Energy Center beginning March 20.  On Thursday, the facility is home to the Big Ten Media Day. Wisconsin is the preseason pick to win the conference."

"You know, it's kind of logical, in the fact that we are just because we're an upperclassmen team, says Wisconsin head coach Mike Eaves. "I know that when I look at rankings or when we're asked to do them I look at the roster and see how many upperclassmen they have, because history tells us that teams that are upperclassmen teams are usually the teams that do well, so we fall into that category so it's logical that we'd be placed there."

Wisconsin has nine seniors and seven juniors on the roster. The 16 upperclassmen is the most a Wisconsin team has had since the 2009-2010 season, which ended in a trip to the Frozen Four. But the Badgers know having a veteran team is no guarantee they will succeed.

"Yeah, I mean, rankings are just rankings, there hasn't been a game played yet this year, but we're excited about it, first time I've been here in four years that we're going to have an upperclassmen team,  and we're all excited about that, we've been through a lot together and hopefully we can build from that," says senior defenseman Frankie Simonelli.
Wisconsin has four players on the Big Ten Preseason Watch list: Nic Kerdiles, Michael Mersch, Mark Zengerle and Eau Claire native Jake McCabe. 

Speaking of Eau Claire, the Hobbs Ice Center will play host to Wisconsin's Red-White Scrimmage on October 5th.


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