Men’s Hockey: Around the Big Ten Week Five
Zach Green, George Stockburger and Eric Ohlson preview this weekend's hockey matchups around the Big Ten.
This weekend in Big Ten hockey will continue to bring out-of-conference matchups, with each conference school in action. The best series will feature No. 13 Minnesota hosting the defending national champions, No. 3 North Dakota. The Fighting Sioux were ranked No. 1 prior to being swept by Minnesota-Duluth last weekend. Elsewhere, No. 14 Penn State will host Niagara in a two-game series and Robert Morris takes on No. 11 Ohio State in a home-and-home series. No. 17 Michigan will travel to the desert for a game against Arizona State, Wisconsin hosts Northern Michigan for a two-game series, and Michigan State will host two games against intra-state team Michigan Tech.
No. 14 Penn State hosted Canisius last weekend as they looked to continue their rise in the Pairwise and USCHO rankings. Penn State was able to dismantle the Golden Griffins, winning 4-1 on Friday and 4-2 on Saturday. The Nittany Lions were able to pepper the Canisius goalies, with 65 shots on net in Friday’s game and 47 on Saturday. Denis Smirnov and Chase Berger led the way with two goals each. Penn State will host Niagara at home this weekend, and hope to continue their upward climb through their out-of-conference schedule.
No. 13 Minnesota took on both Clarkson and St. Lawrence over the weekend, with both games going into overtime. On Friday night, the Golden Gophers traveled to Clarkson, battling the Golden Knights into OT. In the extra frame, it was Leon Bristedt who put home the game-winner for Minnesota, his second of the night. On Saturday, Minnesota fought back from a 2-0 deficit to tie St. Lawrence on the road. In all, Bristedt and Mike Szmatula led the team with two goals each on the weekend. Things get no easier for the Golden Gophers as they battle with No. 3 North Dakota, with a win potentially elevating Minnesota in the Pairwise rankings.
No. 11 Ohio State made sure that Niagara never had a chance in either contest this weekend, outscoring the Purple Eagles 16-4, pulling off the sweep with a 10-2 win on Friday and 6-2 win on Saturday. Nick Schilkey pulled off a hat trick on Friday, then added another goal on the following night to lead the Buckeyes. This weekend, things won’t be nearly as easy, as Ohio State will take on a high-scoring Robert Morris team.
Wisconsin took on the same Clarkson and St. Lawrence teams that Minnesota played, but with better results. The Badgers notched wins in each game against the two teams, beating St. Lawrence 5-2 on Friday, and Clarkson 5-4 on Saturday. Luke Kunin had three goals and two assists on the weekend to lead the Badgers. Wisconsin continues their non-conference slate, with Northern Michigan coming to Madison on Friday and Saturday.
No. 17 Michigan had probably the roughest weekend of any Big Ten team, losing 3-0 on Friday to Vermont and 3-2 to Dartmouth on Saturday. On Saturday, the contest was tied at two when Troy Crema buried the game-winner with under a minute to go. Adam Winborg and Alex Kile tallied the only goals for Michigan on the weekend. The Wolverines should find things a lot easier on Friday, when they travel to Arizona State.
Michigan State only had one game last weekend, hosting ECAC foe Princeton. Alex Riche led the Spartans with two goals, as five different scorers buried the Tigers 6-2. It marked the first win for a struggling Michigan State team this season, bringing their overall record to 1-4-0. The cellar-dweller Spartans will try to notch another win this weekend with WCHA team Michigan Tech (3-5-2) traveling to East Lansing.
Zach Kaplan is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. Shoot him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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