Around the Big Ten Hockey: Week 4

Story posted November 4, 2021 in Sports, CommRadio by Maclain Young

Plenty of exhilarating action took place over the past week in the Big Ten with conference play finally getting underway for most teams.

The most recent USCHO top 20 poll has four Big Ten teams ranked and the other three teams in the conference at least receiving votes. 

In Ann Arbor, an up and down Wisconsin team took on what many consider to be the most talented team in the country in Michigan.

Things proceeded as expected in game one, where the elite Michigan defense suffocated Wisconsin’s attack for a comfortable 3-0 victory.

However, game two housed what was seen as the upset of the week. Despite a Kent Johnson between-the-legs wonder goal, the Badgers narrowly escaped Ann Arbor with a series split.

The Badgers took game two by a score of 4-2 off a strong performance from goaltender Cameron Rowe who had 32 saves on 34 shots. The loss was Michigan’s second in their last four games.

In a battle between two squads with surprising starts, the Michigan State Spartans traveled to Columbus to take on the Buckeyes.

Unsurprisingly, the teams split, but Ohio State had an impressive second game where they dominated with a 5-1 victory.

The only ranked matchup within the conference took place between Minnesota and Notre Dame.

The Golden Gophers showed why they are a top-five team by sweeping the Fighting Irish, but Notre Dame made things interesting in both contests.

Game one was a one-goal contest until under two minutes to play when Mason Nevers put the game away with Minnesota’s third goal. 

Game two was an intense back and forth affair that saw the teams exchange goals one at a time until Minnesota’s Bryce Brodzinski scored the game-winning goal with under two and a half minutes to go.

Despite getting swept and having plenty of room to grow as a team, it was an impressive road trip for the Fighting Irish as they were able to stand toe to toe with one of the best teams in the nation and conference. 

As for Minnesota, it was a good bounce-back series to begin conference play after getting swept by Minnesota Duluth the week prior.

The premier matchup of the week took place at a neutral venue in Nashville for the Hall of Fame Game. At the time unranked Penn State took on NCHC powerhouse, North Dakota.

The Nittany Lions got the jump early with a 2-0 lead and never looked back. Penn State ended up defeating North Dakota 6-4 in a neutral-sited matchup that seemed to be mostly in favor of the Fighting Hawks.

The win is one of the best in Penn State hockey’s still young history and has launched them to No. 16 in the nation and a record of 6-1.

Maclain Young is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email macyoung21@gmail.com.