Around the Big Ten: Week 3 (Hockey)
Host Jacob Cheris and analysts Chris Hess and Mac Young preview the biggest series in Big Ten Hockey.
It was a wild week for the most interesting conference in college hockey. The biggest shocker was the once-invincible Michigan Wolverines being swept by the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. This week is sure to give us even more surprises, as teams deal with stars getting called up to World Junior camp and the various obstacles presented by COVID-19.
The obvious story of the past week was Notre Dame getting the two-game sweep over Michigan. The Wolverines, which looked unstoppable in their first couple of contests, were held back by turnovers and a stout performance from the Fighting Irish defense.
Michigan finally showed the rest of the conference its mortality, but their mistakes are fixable, especially this early in the season. Luckily for the Wolverines, they run into a laboring Penn State team that has yet to win a game. The Wolverines took care of business 3-1 on Wednesday night. It would be a shocker if Penn State could win the Thursday rematch considering the disparity in talent.
The Nittany Lions had a difficult time with Wisconsin last week, as the Badgers were able to fire in 13 goals in two games. At times against the Badgers, Penn State looked like it was finding a groove, but Wisconsin always had an answer. It will surely be a tall task for Penn State to get their first victory against a fired-up Michigan team.
After handling Penn State, Wisconsin had another series against Arizona State. The Badgers suffered in more ways than one, as they lost a handful of players to COVID-19 for the series, as well as star forward Dylan Holloway to Canada’s World Junior camp. Arizona State dominated Wisconsin in a two-game sweep.
Wisconsin will take on an Ohio State team that just split its series against the hard-nosed Michigan State Spartans. The Buckeyes play a strong defensive game with their neutral-zone trap that often stifles opponents. It will be interesting to see if Wisconsin can overcome its external struggles and perform well against Ohio State.
The Minnesota Golden Gophers have been the best team in the Big Ten. Their goaltender, Jack LaFontaine, has been immaculate with a 1.00 goals-against average and .961 save percentage. The team has been firing on all cylinders in all facets of the game. There is no reason to believe that Minnesota will slow down as it prepares to face Michigan State.
Michigan State has a tough task ahead, but if the Spartans do what they do best, they might have a shot to steal a game from Minnesota. The Spartans are notorious for getting in shooting lanes and frustrating other teams with their blocking ability. If Michigan State can put Minnesota off its game enough, the green and white might be able to pull off an upset in one of these games.
It is still in the early goings of the season, and there has already been plenty of parody. Teams are already facing the hardships of COVID-19 and player call-ups. Seeing which teams can overcome constant distractions and adversity will be something to watch for as this unpredictable season marches on.
Maclain Young is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.
About the Contributors
Senior / Broadcast Journalism
Hailing from Long Island, Christopher has experience in public address announcing alongside broadcasting football, volleyball, hockey, baseball, and softball. Chris has been featured on State College Saturdays, CommRadio’s Saturday college football pregame show, Daylate Tailgate, CommRadio’s Sunday college football recap show, and on a number of podcasts. Chris also writes a number of articles during football and hockey season and is an insider for the men’s hockey team. Chris is also a co-host on Hockey Night in State College. Chris is interested in either play-by-play or working in the sports media department for a college or professional sports team alongside being a sports radio personality. To contact Chris, email @firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sophomore / Broadcast Journalism
Jacob Cheris is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism from Gaithersburg, Maryland. He is an aspiring sports play-by-play broadcaster or sports analyst. Jacob is a huge Washington Capitals fan and has a great passion for hockey. He played all throughout high school and still plays in the Student Hockey League. He is also a member of Penn State Sports Night, where he analyzes hockey and other sports on YouTube. His favorite play-by play-broadcasters are Mike “Doc” Emrick of NBC Sports and Joe Beninati of NBC Sports Washington. Jacob is looking to expand his love for hockey and use it across all sports.
Freshman / Broadcast Journalism