Around the Big Ten (Hockey): Jan. 9
Big Ten Hockey is in its second half, which means things will certainly be picking up down the stretch. Let’s see what the conference has been up to as they get ready for an action-packed 2023.
The No. 2 ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers look to continue their great season after a home-and-home split with No. 3 St. Cloud State. They’ll head to South Bend to play Notre Dame next.
Logan Cooley and Jimmy Snuggerud both had a really good World Junior Championship. Cooley finished with seven goals and seven assists for 14 points through seven games. Snuggerud played first-line minutes with Cooley and got five goals and eight assists for 13 points in the same amount of games.
Notre Dame has had a disappointing stretch after a solid season last year. The Irish are currently 10-10-1 overall and 5-6-1 versus the Big Ten after being 16-6 against the conference last season.
No. 5 Penn State ended 2022 right by sweeping RIT and going 10-0 in non-conference play. Next up on the schedule is 17th-ranked Michigan State, who have dropped their last five games and are 12-11-1 overall.
The Nittany Lions are second in the Big Ten and 17-5 overall. If they want to keep pace with Minnesota, pouncing on a team going through a skid is necessary.
Penn State is 1-5 in game two of the series while playing Big Ten opponents. Improving this negative can lead to an extra three points in the standings and a big boost for the ranking.
No. 8 Ohio State had a successful series last weekend, sweeping the Spartans. The Buckeyes are red hot, winning five straight after their loss to Penn State back in early December.
Will they continue to roll against No. 6 Michigan? The Wolverines are getting star freshman Adam Fantilli back after his World Junior appearance.
Fantilli didn’t meet expectations during the tournament scoring only five points in seven games. He is still listed as the second overall pick in the upcoming draft on most boards, and being back in college will get him back on track to the dominating player we saw before the tournament.
The Wisconsin Badgers are trying hard to improve in any way they can at this point. They dug themselves into a very deep hole as they are 2-10 against the conference.
It looks like they will remain at the bottom of the conference unless they can collect themselves and make a strong push for a better seed in the Big Ten Tournament.
Anthony Desher is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.