Around the Big Ten: Week 21

Story posted February 16, 2021 in Sports, CommRadio by Logan Bourandas

The slate of Big Ten hockey this week is incomplete, as Penn State remains on pause due to COVID-19 and thus will not play its upcoming series against Arizona State.

But, with that being said, the Big Ten has become a two-team race now more than ever after Minnesota regained the first place spot over Wisconsin; the Golden Gophers now hold a two-point lead for first.

The Golden Gophers will have a chance to extend their conference lead as they take on last place Michigan State.

Minnesota was in need of a rebound after they were swept in shocking fashion by Wisconsin a few weeks ago.  They found that rebound in the form of Notre Dame. The Golden Gophers swept the Fighting Irish and didn’t allow a single goal in the process. The scores in both Games 1 and 2 were the same: 3-0 with the Gophers coming out on top. Sampo Ranta scored one goal in each game, both coming in the third period.

Michigan State, meanwhile, is coming off a split against Arizona State and remains in last place in the conference, though the Spartans are only one point behind Ohio State.

Looking at the team who lost its first-place spot, Wisconsin will take on Notre Dame. The Badgers fell victim to a well-rested Michigan team, as the two split their series last weekend.

Game 1 wasn’t close. Wisconsin’s Mathieu De St. Phalle scored the first goal of the game, but after that, Michigan put through five unanswered, including four in the second period en route to a 5-1 win.

Game 2 was a bit closer, as Wisconsin once again opened up the game with a goal. Owen Power tied it up for Michigan in the second, but this time Wisconsin responded. A power-play goal from Roman Ahcan and another goal from Dominick Mersch put the Badgers on top for a 3-2 victory.

Notre Dame—as previously mentioned—didn’t score a goal in its last series against Minnesota.

The final series taking place this week sees the Michigan Wolverines taking on the Ohio State Buckeyes.

The Wolverines came off of a COVID-19 pause last week and split their series against Wisconsin. That series was the first one they’ve played since Jan. 21-22 when the Wolverines swept the Fighting Irish. Despite the long pause, the Wolverines remain in fourth place in the conference and just one point behind Notre Dame.

As for Ohio State, the Buckeyes were given the week off, as their series against Penn State was postponed due to the Nittany Lions’ COVID-19 pause. The Buckeyes are riding a five-game losing streak: a stretch that includes being swept by Notre Dame and Minnesota. Their last win was against Michigan State on Jan. 23.

 

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