Around the Big Ten Hockey: Week 21
Host Jeremy Ganes, Jordan Mansberger and Jordan Hession take a look at this week's matchups in the Big Ten:
The final weekend of the regular season has arrived and for four of the Big Ten teams, there is still a shot at the title. While first place Penn State will sit and watch this weekend, if Ohio State, Minnesota or Notre Dame sweep in their series they will have a great chance to win the conference. All of the three teams will take on the eliminated three teams in the conference.
In a two way tie for second sit Ohio State and Minnesota just four points behind Penn State. The Buckeyes join the Nittany Lions as the only two teams ranked inside the top ten in the country. They are coming off of a sweep over Michigan State in East Lansing, knocking it out of the Big Ten race. Out of all the teams with a chance to sweep, Ohio State might have the easiest path as it returns home to take on a struggling Wisconsin team. Ohio State and Wisconsin split the series last time they matched up in Madison.
Meanwhile the Golden Gophers had a chance to knock the Nittany Lions out last week in State College however they only earned one point as they got swept with one of the losses coming in overtime. Minnesota is in a slightly different boat than Ohio State: sweep and you win the Big Ten. Minnesota owns the tiebreaker over Ohio State since it finished the season series 2-1-1. Like the Buckeyes, the Golden Gophers will also return home to take on a Michigan Wolverines team whom they swept in Ann Arbor last time they matched up.
Notre Dame has to have many things go right for it but the opportunity is still there. The Irish are six points behind Penn State but they do own the tiebreaker due to a better head to head record but they also need both Ohio State and Minnesota not to sweep and they win the Big Ten. Notre Dame is coming off a much needed sweep against Michigan which kept them in the race and knocked the Wolverines out. This week Notre Dame will take on Michigan State, who swept the Fighting Irish during its last series with one of the losses being in overtime.
For Penn State if everything goes right it would be its first regular season championship in Big Ten history. The other three teams still in the race have all won it very recently with Ohio State winning last year, Notre Dame in its first year in the Big Ten winning the year before, and Minnesota the year prior.
Logan Bourandas is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Jordan Mansberger is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism and minoring in marketing.