Around the Big Ten: Week 1 (Hockey)
Host Matthew McLaughlin and analysts Jacob Cheris and Logan Bourandas break down the biggest storylines and takeaways from the hockey action around the Big Ten as well as giving their predictions and focal points on the upcoming slate of games.
Big Ten Hockey is finally back underway with three squads already playing in their first contests.
In what will certainly be a unique season, the teams in the Big Ten are looking to stand above the rest. Currently, five of seven Big Ten hockey teams are ranked inside the top-15 and three of them are in the top-10 in the USA Today poll.
Michigan made sure to make a statement in its opening two games. The Wolverines handled Arizona State by scores of a whopping 8-1 and 3-0. Reigning Big Ten Goalie of the Year Strauss Mann and freshman skater Kent Johnson led the way.
Mann stopped 32 of 33 shots over the weekend earning the Big Ten’s First Star of the Week award. Johnson tallied one goal and four assists over the first two games, garnering recognition as the Big Ten’s Third Star of the Week. The two stellar performances propelled Michigan to become No. 6 in the nation.
Wisconsin and Notre Dame are the only two Big Ten teams who played against each other, and it was the Badgers who took care of business. Wisconsin beat the Irish by scores of 2-0 and 5-3, with goaltender Robbie Beydoun being the standout.
Wisconsin’s senior goalie had an opening night shutout and over his first two games has a .947 save percentage. The Badgers will certainly want to keep up the strong performances as they prepare to take on No. 6 Michigan this weekend.
Penn State, Minnesota and Michigan State will begin their seasons this weekend while Ohio State will start on Monday.
Michigan State will take on the winless Sun Devils of Arizona State. The Spartans will need a strong performance as a very talented Arizona State squad will be looking to make amends after two tough losses to Michigan.
The Nittany Lions facing off against the Golden Gophers will be one of the most intriguing matchups this week. Penn State is looking to build off the strong success that was unceremoniously cut short last season.
Minnesota hovered just above a .500 record for most of the 2019-2020 season, but ended strongly with a series win over Notre Dame in the Big Ten Tournament Quarterfinals. The Golden Gophers would have taken on Penn State in the semifinals before the pandemic cancelled the rest of the season.
The matchup will most definitely not be as exciting as a Big Ten Tournament Semifinal, but it will be fun to finally see Penn State take on Minnesota after all this time.
The final club to begin its season will be the Ohio State Buckeyes when they take on Minnesota on Monday.
The Buckeyes begin the season as the No. 10 ranked squad in the nation. It will be interesting to see if starting last will have any effect on their play and if Minnesota will be able to overcome beginning its season against two top ten teams.
The Big Ten hockey season is sure to be exciting and will hopefully have success despite the many obstacles due to COVID-19.
Maclain Young is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Contributors
Fourth-Year / Broadcast Journalism
Jacob Cheris is a fourth-year majoring in broadcast journalism from Gaithersburg, Maryland. He is an aspiring sports writer. Jacob is a huge Washington Capitals fan and has a great passion for hockey. He played all throughout high school. He is also a member of Penn State Sports Night, where he analyzes hockey and other sports on YouTube. Jacob also covers Penn State Men’s hockey as the lead editorial writer for Penn State Rivals, giving in depth analysis on the team, and feature stories on specific players. Jacob is also the host of CommRadio’s hockey talk show “The Sin Bin”. Jacob is looking to expand his love for hockey and use it across all sports.
Third-Year / Broadcast Journalism
Freshman / Broadcast Journalism
Matthew “Matt” McLaughlin is a freshman from Abington, Pennsylvania majoring in broadcast journalism at Penn State. He is a writer and analyst in all three departments for CommRadio. He’s been featured as an analyst on live shows such as Daylate Tailgate, State College Saturdays and Hail Mary.
Second Year / Broadcast Journalism