Around the Big Ten Hockey: Week 1
October has arrived, which means grim ghosts are out, spirits are materializing, and Big Ten hockey is back!
Two of the seven conference squads opened up their seasons on the first and second of October, with the rest of the teams to follow this weekend.
Starting with the groups who have already begun their seasons, the Ohio State Buckeyes had a successful trip to Erie, Pennsylvania.
Ohio State faced off against Mercyhurst, sweeping the series and winning the matchups by scores of 4-2 and 4-1, respectively.
The Buckeyes boast sophomore goaltender Jakub Dobes who is already off to a hot start this season, stopping 43 of the 46 shots he faced over the weekend. Dobes took the Big Ten by storm as a freshman last season and will be Ohio State’s backbone this winter.
The other team who has already seen regular season action is Minnesota. While the Golden Gophers also came away with a sweep, it was not as easy as it was for the Buckeyes.
Hosting Lindenwood, Minnesota cruised in game one with star freshman and first-round NHL draft pick Logan Cooley scoring his first two career collegiate goals. However, in game two Lindenwood gave Minnesota all it could handle.
The offensive back-and-forth affair saw the Golden Gophers eking out a 6-4 victory, relying on their power play to secure the victory.
This upcoming weekend Minnesota will play a home-and-home with rivals Minnesota State, and Ohio State will host a Big Ten foe in Wisconsin.
Speaking of the Badgers, Wisconsin has been a hard group to evaluate over the past year plus. At one time looking like a conference powerhouse with Cole Caufield outplaying everyone in sight, the Badgers have fallen towards the bottom of the Big Ten.
It is safe to say that the Badgers would like to start swaying public opinion, and a positive result in Columbus could show fans and analysts alike that Wisconsin is back.
Another team that’s trying to restore the glory it had just a few short years ago is Penn State. The Nittany Lions were on the verge of a Big Ten tournament title and NCAA tournament berth before Covid-19 struck the nation.
The Blue and White did not look anywhere close to the form during the 2021-2022 regular season. However, the Nittany Lions played their best hockey during the Big Ten tournament and gave an outstanding Minnesota team a run for its money.
Penn State opens up its season with a home series against Canisius. Last season the Nittany Lions stumbled and split with the Griffins.
Notre Dame has an extremely tough weekend slate to start their season. The Fighting Irish will be in Colorado and play their first game against the defending national champions in Denver.
The next day, Notre Dame will head to Colorado Springs and take on Air Force. It’s looking like an grueling weekend out west for the Fighting Irish, but if they can take care of business, they will put the Big Ten and the nation on high alert.
After Lindenwood gave Minnesota a bit of a test, they will head to Ann Arbor to take on Michigan.
Michigan State will play a tough home-and-home series with Bowling Green to open up their season.
The Big Ten is always one of the most competitive conferences in college hockey, and this campaign should be no different.
Maclain Young is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Second Year / Broadcast Journalism