Around the Big Ten (Hockey): Nov. 10
Conference play is well underway in college hockey and the teams of the Big Ten are dominating the top of the rankings.
Four of the seven Big Ten teams are ranked inside of the top ten of the USCHO rankings with five total ranked in the top 20.
The Minnesota Golden Gophers are ranked No. 1 overall in the nation and are riding an impressive three game winning streak all over ranked teams.
In their series with Notre Dame, Minnesota only conceded one goal. Senior goaltender Justen Close has a remarkable 1.843 goals against average.
This weekend they faceoff with a red hot 9-0-1 Penn State team. Last weekend the Nittany Lions took four of a possible six points from No. 1 Michigan.
Depth scoring has been a highlight for Penn State with bottom sixer Xander Lamppa on a three game scoring streak.
After defeating a top ranked team for the first time in their history, Penn State will look to repeat the feat when it begins its series at Minnesota on Thursday night.
Michigan is looking to bounce back after a tough weekend trip to Happy Valley. The young Wolverines were able to steal game two in overtime, but had to do so after losing a 3-0 lead.
On the other hand, Notre Dame has struggled in the early stages of Big Ten play, riding a three-game losing streak all against conference foes.
Both squads remain ranked, but believe they can be much better than their recent play. The Irish and Wolverines will have their chances to get back in the limelight at Compton Family Ice Arena Friday night.
Two teams who resemble the Big Ten’s depth this season will square off in East Lansing starting Thursday. The Michigan State Spartans and Ohio State Buckeyes have put on some impressive performances in the season’s early going.
The Buckeyes already have a signature win over Minnesota where they turned in six goals from five different goal scorers. Sophomore goaltender Jakob Dobes has collected seven wins with a 2.252 goals against average.
Michigan State has been surprising fans and analysts alike with their recent scoring prowess. The Spartans scored 10 goals in their series sweep over the Wisconsin Badgers.
Speaking of those Badgers, they get a much needed non-conference matchup with the Long Island University Sharks this weekend.
Big Ten play has not been kind to Wisconsin who is 0-6 against conference foes thus far. The only two wins the Badgers have this season came in a road series sweep over Minnesota Duluth.
Once again, the Big Ten is looking like one of the best conferences in college hockey. Almost every program is looking like a threat to make a run at the title and the NCAA tournament.
It’s time to see which teams can separate themselves from the rest with conference play ramping up.
Maclain Young is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.
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