Around the Big Ten Hockey: Week 21

Story posted March 3, 2021 in Sports, CommRadio by Logan Bourandas

For the first time in a long time there is a full slate of Big Ten hockey this weekend. As of right now, the Penn State Nittany Lions are set to end a month-long, COVID-19 break as they face Notre Dame. Ironically, the Fighting Irish are the last team the Nittany Lions faced before the pause in a series which ended in a split.

The Irish head into the weekend looking hot, as they’re coming off a strong sweep over conference-bottom dweller Michigan State. In the series, the Irish didn’t allow a goal as goalkeeper Dylan St. Cyr pitched a shutout in both games.

Game one only saw the goalie have to save six shots in both the first and third periods. Alex Steeves and Landon Slaggert found the back of the net in the win.

Game two was more of the same as St. Cyr saw most of his action in the second period with the Spartans getting more shots on goal in that period than the other two combined. Both games ended in a 2-0 win for Notre Dame.

Elsewhere in the conference, a well-rested Minnesota squad gets back on the ice as they host the Michigan Wolverines. The Golden Gophers were supposed to play last weekend, but fell victim to the Penn State COVID-19 pause.

As for Michigan, it is coming off a surprising result against Arizona State. Game one went as planned for the Wolverines as a two goal first period was all that was needed. Add on a hat trick from Matty Beniers and you have a 4-1 win for the boys in blue. Game two however was a very different story. The offense fell silent despite getting 42 shots on goal compared to a putrid 13 from Arizona State. The only action came in the second period with both teams scoring to make the game a 1-1 tie.

It’s been a tough ask for any team to try and stop the Wisconsin Badgers this season, but that’s something that Michigan State will attempt this weekend. The Badgers are coming off a dominant sweep over another struggling team in Ohio State this past weekend.

Game one was close and even required overtime for the Badgers to pull out the win. All three goals scored were on power plays but that ninth penalty for the Buckeyes was what killed them as Dylan Holloway scored his second goal of the game to get the 2-1 win.

Game two would not be close as the Badgers would get seven goals past the net including a hat trick from star Cole Caufield in the 7-0 domination.

The final series of the week sees two of the weaker teams face off, as Ohio State takes on Arizona State. The Buckeyes, as previously mentioned, couldn’t stay out of the penalty box and it cost them a win over one of the top teams in the country in Wisconsin.

Although they couldn’t get a win over the Wolverines, the Sun Devils do have momentum following that tie in game two. Although the series doesn’t have major tournament implications, it doesn’t take away from a loaded weekend as we approach the Big Ten tournament.

Logan Bourandas is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email lxb5412@psu.edu.