Men's hockey officially became an intercollegiate sport at the University of Wisconsin in the 1921/22 season. The Badgers lost their first game to the Milwaukee Athletic Club, 4-1 on January 14 of 1922. Since those early, humble beginnings, the Badger Men's Hockey team has won the NCAA Hockey Championship six times: in 1973, 1977, 1981, 1983, 1990 and 2006.
The Badgers created history in 2006 when both their men's and women's hockey teams were crowned NCAA National Champions. The Badgers Men's team won the National Championship in 2006 over Boston College with a score of 2-1. It was one of the most exciting and intense NCAA Hockey Championship games in recent memory.
In just its seventh season of competition, the Wisconsin Badgers women's hockey team won its first NCAA championship with a 3-0 victory over two-time defending champion Minnesota at Mariucci Arena in Minneapolis on March 26, 2006. The Badgers (36-4-1) got a pair of goals from sophomore Jinelle Zaugg, another from senior Grace Hutchins and outstanding play from freshman goalie Jessie Vetter of Cottage Grove, Wisconsin.
The men's Badgers are perennially considered as being national championship contenders. Visitors to the Kohl Center for a Badger Hockey game can certainly attest to this by witnessing the championship banners hanging from the ceiling. Further proof of the Badgers success is evident in the number of underclassmen leaving the program for the NHL.
An interesting footnote to the Badgers championship season was an event that took place on February 11th of 2006. At 3:00 pm, the Badgers played a regular season game against the Ohio State Buckeyes on the hallowed ground of Lambeau Field in Green Bay. This historic college hockey game would not have come about without the cooperation of the coaches, athletic directors and officials from both schools. Dubbed the Frozen Tundra Hockey Classic, the No. 4 Wisconsin Badgers men's hockey team beat Ohio State in front of 40,890 fans. Robbie Earl led with a goal and an assist.
The home of the Badger hockey team for decades was the University of Wisconsin Field House. Commonly known as the UW Fieldhouse, the 11,500 seat multi-purpose arena in Madison, Wisconsin opened in 1930. It was designed by Wisconsin State Architect Arthur Peabody in consultation with Paul Cret of the firm of Laird and Cret. Badger hockey fans of all ages and eras can attest to the loud rowdiness that was customary during games at the Fieldhouse. Just like the Basketball team, the Badger hockey team moved into the Kohl Center in 1998.
With a strong fan base of both students and alumni and a state-of-the-art venue to play its games, the future looks bright for the Badger Hockey team and current coach Mike Eaves.