Around the Big Ten Hockey: Feb. 2
The end of the college hockey season draws ever closer and the race for first place in the Big Ten conference remains close.
As of now, the Michigan Wolverines are not only ranked No. 3 in the country but they also hold the first place spot in the conference by just two points.
The Wolverines enter the weekend on a three-game winning streak and are coming off an impressive sweep against Wisconsin last time out.
During all three of the wins for the Wolverines, they have won by three goals or more and outscored the Badgers 11-3 during the weekend.
What makes the sweep more impressive is that all 11 goals scored by the Wolverines were scored by a different player.
While the Wolverines do have a week off this week, they will have a tough slate up ahead. They first take on in-state rival Michigan State before squaring off with the team currently in second place in the Big Ten the next week.
That team is the No. 9-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes, who found mixed results last weekend in Happy Valley.
The weekend started out slow as the Buckeyes lost in a shootout against Penn State after Nittany Lions’ forward Ben Schoen had both the game-tying goal in the third period and the shootout game winner.
Ohio State shifted into gear the next day, though, to the tune of a 6-0 victory.
Joe Dunlap scored twice during this series, as did Jake Wise, who scored both of his goals during the first period in Game 2.
The Buckeyes have a four-game homestand coming up first against Wisconsin, then Minnesota the following weekend.
Only one other team has more than 30 points in the Big Ten and that’s the No. 8-ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers, who find themselves eight points behind Michigan.
Minnesota is coming off a series split against the fourth-place team in the conference in Notre Dame last weekend.
The Golden Gophers won the opening game handedly by a score of 5-1 as Blake McLaughlin found the back of the net twice.
Notre Dame got revenge the next day as the Fighting Irish picked up a win in overtime with Landon Slaggert clinching the victory during the extra period.
The Golden Gophers will return home this weekend to host the Michigan State Spartans before embarking on a four-game road trip.
Logan Bourandas is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.