Around the Big Ten: Week 9

Story posted January 12, 2018 in Sports, CommRadio by Tom Johnston

The college hockey season is in full swing, as we are now entering the heart of the conference play. Every team in the Big Ten is fighting for a spot in the postseason. Every team in the conference has played at least 10 conference games.

No. 1 ranked Notre Dame continues to dominate as they are on top of the Big Ten conference standings with an astonishing 12-0-0 record in their first season in the Big Ten. The Fighting Irish are 18-3-1 overall on the season. Last weekend the Fighting Irish welcomed Michigan who is having a not so stellar season thus far, to South Bend and swept both games from the Wolverines 2-1 respectively.

This weekend, the Fighting Irish have the weekend off of Big Ten action. However, when they return, they will welcome current No. 18 Wisconsin to South Bend next weekend. The Fighting Irish have scored on average 3.2 goals per game while allowing their opponents to only 1.9 goals per game.

No. 6 Ohio State sits behind Notre Dame in the conference standings with a 7-4-1 record in conference play. The Buckeyes are looking to keep the ball rolling this weekend as last weekend they swept the series from the Michigan State Spartans who currently sit at the bottom of the Big Ten conference with an abysmal 2-9-1 conference record. The Buckeyes beat the Spartans 4-1 and 5-3 respectively.

This weekend, Ohio State will go on the road to face a red-hot No. 13 Penn State Nittany Lions ice hockey team. Penn State currently sits behind Ohio State in the Big Ten conference standings in third place with a 5-4-3 conference record.

Ohio State has played solid hockey this season on the road as they bring a 9-1-1 away record in Big Ten play to the table. Penn State, on the contrary, will try to continue their winning ways and try to surpass Ohio State in the Big Ten standings. Both teams faced off earlier in the season where Ohio State lost one game 4-0 and tied in another game 5-5 but Penn State won the shootout.
Penn State brings a strong offense that averages 4.1 goals per game that will try to conquer an Ohio State defense that averages its opponents to just 2 goals per game.

The Minnesota Golden Gophers sit in the middle of the Big Ten standings in fourth place with a 4-7-1 record in Big Ten play and they will welcome the Michigan Wolverines to town this weekend. The Gophers played Michigan earlier in the season losing 5-4 in overtime and tying 6-6 in overtime. Normally a powerhouse, the Gophers are having a down year. Their offense averages 2.7 goals and their defense allows 2.4 goals per game.

Tied for fourth place with Minnesota is No. 18 Wisconsin with a 4-6-2 record in Big Ten action. This weekend, they will welcome struggling Michigan State 2-9-1 in Big Ten play for the weekend. Both teams met earlier in the season where they split the series. Wisconsin took the first game 6-3 while they dropped the second game 0-2.

 

Tom Johnston is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email taj5211@psu.edu