Around the Big Ten Hockey: December 2
The Big Ten has been one of the best conferences in all of college hockey so far this season. However, as conference play has picked up some of the elite teams have separated themselves from the weaker sides.
The highest nationally ranked team in the Big Ten had a field day against Niagara in its most recent series. No. 3 Michigan swept Niagara by scores of 6-1 and 4-1 over the weekend.
Michigan’s star players immediately bounced back after a frustrating home series against Notre Dame in which the Wolverines lost both contests in overtime.
After this past weekend’s set of games Owen Power and Kent Johnson lead the Big Ten in points with 23 and are tied for second in the nation.
The No. 11 ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers are in the midst of one of their toughest stretches of the season as they just wrapped up a series with No. 7 North Dakota.
Minnesota managed an impressive road split with one of the best teams in the nation winning game one 5-1 and dropping game two narrowly 3-2.
The Golden Gophers will participate in perhaps the Big Ten’s most important regular-season matchup when Minnesota visits Michigan.
Michigan will have a chance to create separation at the top of the Big Ten standings while Minnesota has the opportunity to get right back into it.
One of the Big Ten’s most surprising teams out of the gate has been No. 18 Ohio State. However, the Buckeyes hit a bit of a speed bump in their most recent series with Mercyhurst.
Ohio State was only able to manage one win on home ice against a Mercyhurst team that has a record under .500.
The Buckeyes face a possible season-defining series when they travel to take on a strong No. 8 Notre Dame that has swept Michigan this season.
One Big Ten team that has been ailing recently is Wisconsin. The Badgers have gone seven games in a row without a win including their most recent series against Clarkson.
Nothing has gone right since the Badgers upset Minnesota in overtime. It’s safe to say Wisconsin has had a hard time filling in the production from last season’s Hobey Baker winner Cole Caulfield who was lost to the NHL.
The Badgers will take on the Penn State Nittany Lions in their next series.
Speaking of Penn State, the blue and white have quietly won three of their last four games. The Nittany Lions handled business in their last series cruising past St. Thomas by scores of 5-1 and 4-1.
Sophomore forward Tyler Paquette earned himself Big Ten second star of the week honors after grabbing three goals over the weekend.
The Big Ten standings are certainly beginning to take shape, but there is still plenty of hockey left to play as each team does all it can to capture the conference title.
Maclain Young is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.