Around the Big Ten Hockey: Week 18
Hosts Jeremy Ganes, Jordan Mansberger and Jordan Hession preview all the matchups in the Big Ten.
Another new leader emerged in the Big Ten last week as the Ohio State Buckeyes join the struggling Penn State Nittany Lions in a tie for first place with both teams at 29 points. The two teams are bound to break the tie this weekend, however, as they will face off in Columbus in an all important series. Outside of the leaders, the Big Ten is as close as ever with Michigan State, Minnesota and Notre Dame all one point behind the leaders with 28, and the first two of those three teams also facing off in what is set to be another exciting week of hockey.
Penn State has started its return to conference play at the start of this month on a downward spiral with only one win in its last six games. This includes its recent series against Notre Dame as even on home ice the Nittany Lions continued to struggle. In game one, the Nittany Lions blew a game in which they led until less than two minutes left when Michael Graham tied things up for the Irish. Notre Dame would win the game in overtime. Then in front of a record setting crowd, the Nittany Lions once again lost as Notre Dame broke a 2-2 tie late in the third period giving them a lead they would not give up.
Meanwhile for the Buckeyes they recovered after a sweep against Minnesota by recording a split against Michigan in Ann Arbor. They lost game one 3-2 but recovered with a great offensive performance winning game two 4-1. This sets up an all important match against Penn State in a battle for first place in the conference on home ice.
After a slow start to conference play this season the Minnesota Golden Gophers finally rebounded winning their last five conference games including sweeps over Ohio State and now against Wisconsin. Minnesota’s offense came to play in this series as it went on the road and recorded a combined score of 10-4 in the two game set. Bryce Brodzinski led the team with three goals in the series, two of which came in game one. The recent hot streak from Minnesota has put it one point back of the conference lead. The Gophers will now face a team that is tied with them in Michigan State.
Elsewhere around the Big Ten, Michigan State had the week off so it fell back from tied at first to second as both Penn State and Ohio State jumped ahead. The Spartans will go on the road to face Minnesota this week. Michigan is coming off a split series against Ohio State. It will stay home this weekend to welcome Wisconsin in a battle of the bottom two teams in the conference. Notre Dame will have the week off.
Logan Bourandas is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him email firstname.lastname@example.org.