Archive for the 'Big Ten' Category

Weekend Preview: Big Ten, Nov. 27

Friday, November 27th, 2015

Fresh off the age-limit proposal controversy, the Big Ten is back in action in its last weekend of regular-season play before Big Ten play begins. The conference has been playing a little bit better as of late, but still struggles against top-tier opponents.

Wisconsin has a bye this weekend, but all other five teams are in action.


Three Things I Think: Big Ten, Nov. 25

Wednesday, November 25th, 2015

The Big Ten finished an okay weekend in non-conference play. But it’s what happened off the ice that is tremendous not only for Big Ten hockey, but for college hockey as a whole. The conference proposed a legislation to the NCAA that would penalize players who entered their freshman year of college aged 21 or older.

The players would forfeit a year of eligibility, a rule the Big Ten is pushing to limit the age of college hockey. This, unsurprisingly, was met with discontent by many across college hockey from teams to coaches and fans, and even some alumni. The proposal is something that would benefit maybe a dozen teams in college hockey, most notably the Big Ten, which has struggled since its inception.

On the ice, Michigan State registered a winless weekend against Michigan Tech with a tie and a loss. The Wolverines split with Boston University, Wisconsin also played Denver to a tie and a loss while Penn State earned a tie and a win against Alaska Anchorage.

(After the jump: The Big Ten’s proposal, a different Michigan State and Wisconsin isn’t who we thought they were.)


Weekend Preview: Big Ten, Nov. 20

Friday, November 20th, 2015

The Big Ten continues this week with out-of-conference play. After splitting with Minnesota State, the Gophers are back on a bye this weekend. The Buckeyes, who are on a three-game winning streak, are also on a break.

Michigan State, Michigan, Wisconsin and Penn State are all in action this week.


Three Things I Think: Big Ten, Nov. 17

Tuesday, November 17th, 2015

Last weekend, Big Ten found some of its best success in out-of-conference play. The Spartans (expectedly) dropped their game to Boston College, although in an unexpected fashion.

All teams defeated their Atlantic Hockey opponents. Michigan netted a 7-3 win over Niagara, Penn State swept Sacred Heart and Ohio State swept Canisius. The Buckeyes are now on a three-game winning streak and have scored 15 goals over their last three games. After an 8-2 win over the Purple Eagles, the Nittany Lions recorded a 3-2 win.

In Minnesota, the Gophers split with the Mavericks.

(After the jump: Michigan State’s offensive boost, Big Tem powerhouse offenses vs. defense and the early Pairwise that doesn’t matter) (more…)

Weekend Preview: Big Ten, Nov. 13

Thursday, November 12th, 2015

This is one of the last weekends of non-conference play, as Big Ten contests will be underway soon. The conference fared better last weekend but have still really struggled. Wisconsin, which upset North Dakota on Friday, is off this week.

Much of the Big Ten play this week is against Atlantic Hockey, with Michigan playing Niagara, Penn State hosting Sacred Heart and Ohio State facing Canisius. The Spartans also travel to Boston College while Minnesota faces Minnesota State.


Three Things I Think: Big Ten, Nov. 9

Monday, November 9th, 2015

Big Ten hockey’s weekend was highlighted by an upset win from Wisconsin over North Dakota. The Badgers ended the series with a split. Penn State played Niagara to a 1-1 tie, Michigan State’s offense broke out in a sweep of New Hampshire and Minnesota split with Notre Dame.

(After the jump: Luke Kunin OHL rumors, the term “Upset” and the Gophers aren’t there yet.) (more…)

Weekend Preview: Big Ten, Nov. 6

Friday, November 6th, 2015

Four Big Ten teams will play this weekend – Wisconsin, Minnesota, Penn State and Michigan State, while Michigan and Ohio State both have a bye. None of the Big Ten teams have fared well in out-of-conference, non-Atlantic Hockey matchups this season.

All six Big Ten teams have struggled this season, especially the Badgers and Buckeyes. Wisconsin has the biggest out-of-conference test this week as the young squad travels to NorthDakota, while the Gophers will be challenged by Notre Dame. The Spartans have also struggled to win, making their series against the Wildcats one to watch.

But aside from that, the non-conference schedule isn’t asvict bad for the Big Ten this weekend.


Three Things I Think: Big Ten, Nov. 2

Monday, November 2nd, 2015

This weekend saw the Big Ten’s out-of-conference record fall even further. The conference recorded a 4-3-1 weekend, which included a sweep by Wisconsin over Arizona State. The Badgers weren’t the only Big Ten team to finally earn a win, as Ohio State defeated Mercyhurst 5-1 on Saturday night.

Penn State tied St. Lawrence the first night and then dropped a 4-2 decision. The powerful Nittany Lion offense stalled, which wasn’t surprising against St. Lawrence’s defense. The Wolverines split their series against Robert Morris, which included a shutout in a 4-0 loss on Saturday night. The Buckeyes also split their Atlantic Hockey series against Mercyhurst.

It’s still really early in the season, but it’s evident this will be another difficult year for the conference.

(After the jump: Inconsistency again, Michigan’s less-known rookie scorer, non-conference woes – again)

Inconsistency again

Last year this was a big issue, particularly for Minnesota and Michigan. Inconsistency was more noticeable with those two teams, as they fight each other for the conference title all season long. It’s still early in the season, butI it seems neither team has solved inconsistency issues. That makes sense for a very young Minnesota team relying on freshmen each night, but is worrisome for Michigan.

The Wolverines do have some rookie scorers – like Kyle Connor and Cooper Marody – but they still have a good group of veterans. And last year I thought inconsistency would solve itself with a veteran-laden Gopher team, and it never did. So it’s something to watch for Michigan as the season goes on.

Michigan’s freshman scorer who isn’t Kyle Connor

There was a lot of hype around Kyle Connor, Michigan’s freshman forward, after his standout year in the USHL. Before the season, I also wrote a feature on Connor, and it was clear that Red Berenson knew Connor would be one of the team’s top scorer. He is, and he’s tied for the team lead with seven points.

But alongside Connor is fellow draft pick, but certainly lesser-known, freshman Cooper Marody. Marody, who was taken in the sixth round, has kind of flown under the radar. He’s a player to watch for, especially as he develops at Michigan. The freshman has had three multi-point games this season and has seven points so far.

Non-conference woes

Ah, my favorite topic. I think I write about this every week – or at least I did last year. But it’s too big of an issue to ignore. While it’s way too early to think about PairWise rankings, the non-conference losses that are happening right now will really hurt the conference at the end of the year. Most likely, the Big Ten is only getting one team into the NCAA tournament.

There’s still time for the conference to start winning against its non-league opponents, but that probably won’t happen. Both the Badgers and Buckeyes are really going to struggle to win, while Michigan, Penn State, Minnesota and Michigan State have had a hard time winning out of conference. And when the teams do win, it’s typically against Atlantic Hockey opponents.

Weekend Preview: Big Ten, Oct. 29

Thursday, October 29th, 2015

Four Big Ten teams are in action this weekend – Penn State, Wisconsin, Michigan and Ohio State.

The Big Ten has continued struggling out of conference, and now holds an 11-16-5 record against non-Big Ten opponents. When you exclude the five wins against Atlantic Hockey opponents, the record drops to 6-16-5.

Michigan State and Minnesota are on byes.


Three Things I Think: Big Ten, Oct. 25

Monday, October 26th, 2015

This weekend of Big Ten hockey saw Minnesota finally earn its first win of the season. The Gophers swept Northeastern, but Wisconsin and Ohio State were both swept by their opponents. This means the Badgers and Buckeyes are now the only winless teams in the conference.

Wisconsin and Ferris State were locked in a high-scoring, 5-5 affair on Friday night. The Badgers then dropped Saturday’s contest 2-1. The Buckeyes dropped both games to Providence, but the scores were close. Ohio State fell 2-1 on Friday and 6-4 on Saturday.

Elsewhere, Michigan earned a tie and a win in New York. There were some struggles for the Wolverines, who scored five goals in both games. Michigan tied Union in the first contest amidst some back-and-forth scoring and beat RPI 5-2. The Wolverines are unbeaten on the season, but there are some issues that will hurt Michigan when it plays stronger competition.

Penn State’s offensive success continued against AIC, and the Nittany Lions finished the series with a sweep. Penn State has now scored four or more goals in all games this year, and at least five over the last three.

The Spartans received a boost with Michael Ferrantino’s return over the weekend, but still split its series with Lake Superior. The Lakers won the first game 4-2 before Michigan State won the second 2-0.

(After the jump: Belief in Eric Schierhorn, mistakes from the top teams and Penn State’s offense.) (more…)