Playing on the road is had its challenges for the University of Wisconsin men's hockey team during the Mike Eaves coaching era that began in 2002.

There have been only three instances where UW finished the season with a winning record in enemy rinks: 11-3-2 in 2005-06, 10-5-2 in 2003-04 and 9-6-1 in 2009-10.

Of course, the '05-06 and '09-10 clubs ended those seasons in the NCAA title game, while the other was an overtime loss away from reaching the Frozen Four.

That history bodes pretty well for the current Badgers, who are 6-1-3 (.750) on the road heading into a Western Collegiate Hockey Association series Friday and Saturday at North Dakota.

That's the best mark in the WCHA -- Minnesota (6-2-2, .700), Minnesota State-Mankato (7-4-2, .615) and Nebraska-Omaha (6-5-1, .542) are the only others with winning records -- and second to Quinnipiac (7-0-1, .938) in the country.

The recipe for success for UW on the road this season has been pretty simple: It has only trailed three times in those 10 outings and have limited opponents to two goals or less seven times.

Questions is, with four of their remaining 12 regular-season games on the road, can the Badgers maintain that pace?

The last time fourth-place UW (11-8-5 overall, 8-5-5, 21 points in the WCHA) visited Ralph Engelstad Arena it was swept last January en route to finishing 5-11-1 (.324) on the road. That's its worst mark on the road since Eaves' first season (3-12-2, .235). 

However, the Badgers have held up pretty well at The Ralph overall during the Eaves Era, going 6-6-2, including a 6-3-1 mark since 2005-06.

 

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