Around the Big Ten Hockey: Feb. 17
With some of the Big Ten’s top talent playing in the Olympics in Beijing, the battle for the number one seed in the conference’s tournament has heated up interestingly.
In the most important series of last week, Minnesota visted the Buckeyes in Columbus. The Golden Gophers swept the Buckeyes on the road causing a shakeup in the standings.
Before this past weekend, Ohio State was continuing to shock the nation by being first in the Big Ten, but a sweep at the hands of Minnesota and Michigan handling their business against Michigan State has spun Ohio State down to third in the Big Ten standings.
The Golden Gophers showed off the depth of their team in the 3-2 and 5-1 victories over Ohio State, having seven different goal scorers on their eight total goals.
Minnesota finishes its regular season with two very winnable series and the opportunity to snatch the number one seed from the Michigan Wolverines.
This weekend the Golden Gophers are heading to Happy Valley to battle a struggling Penn State team. The Nittany Lions have scored just four times in their last four games and are on a three-game losing streak.
However, the two sides split in their series at Minnesota so it will be interesting to see if the blue and white can play spoiler in their final home series of the season.
Ohio State’s stretch run only gets more difficult this weekend when they will head to Ann Arbor to battle Michigan.
Despite missing Brendan Brisson, Matty Beniers, Kent Johnson and Owen Power, Michigan steamrolled bottom feeder Michigan State in their last series. The Wolverines outscored the Spartans 13-5 over their sweep with Luke Highes stealing the show.
The youngest of the Hughes brothers shined with three goals and three assists in the series, earning himself the Big Ten First Star of the week.
The loss was Michigan State’s tenth in a row and the road is not getting any easier as the Spartans welcome a seasoned Notre Dame team to East Lansing this weekend.
The Fighting Irish are attempting to jostle for position for the Big Ten tournament but stumbled in their series this past weekend.
Against a Wisconsin team that has struggled to pick up victories all season, Notre Dame was outscored 7-6 in the series and was forced to accept the series split.
The Fighting Irish are awkwardly sitting in the middle of the Big Ten standings being seven points behind third-place Ohio State and 15 points up on fifth place Wisconsin.
The good news for Jeff Jackson’s squad is that they have two games in hand on Ohio State whose remaining series is against the powerhouse that is Michigan.
With just a few games left to play in the Big Ten regular season, there is still plenty to play for and this past weekend’s matchups proved that.
Maclain Young is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Second Year / Broadcast Journalism