Archive for the 'Big Ten' Category

Weekend Preview: Big Ten, Oct. 30

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

Every Big Ten team is in action this week save for the Badgers, who are idle for the second weekend in a row.

Ohio State returns from a bye week of its own and will travel to Canisius, while Penn State also faces an AHA opponent in Bentley. Michigan State faces Ferris State, the Wolverines will play Michigan Tech and the Gophers continue with a home-and-home against St. Cloud State.

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Big Ten: A Look Into Corsi, Week Three

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

Last weekend was a much better one for the Big Ten. With Wisconsin and Ohio State on byes, the conference finished with a 5-3-0 record. Penn State swept Holy Cross (and recorded the highest Corsi of all Big Ten teams), Minnesota swept Bemidji State, Michigan split and Michigan State lost both games by one goal.

In the 3-1 win over Holy Cross, Penn State recorded a second-period of Corsi of 88.37 percent. As impressive as that number is, the Nittany Lions had a 5-on-5 Corsi of 63.44 percent in the 7-1 win over the Crusaders.

Minnesota’s Corsi wasn’t spectacular in the sweep, which seems to be a pattern for the Gophers in this young season. Minnesota’s Corsi hovered around 40 percent for the 5-2 win on Friday and rose to around 50 percent on Saturday.

Michigan State’s Corsi was a lot higher than I thought it would be, given how little the Spartans are known for puck possession. But after a rough time at Boston University, the Spartans bounced back for a 53.85 percent 5-on-5 Corsi against UMass Lowell. Unfortunately for the Spartans, the game ended in a 2-1 loss. But Michigan State recorded a season-high Corsi of 78.13 percent in the second period of that contest.

Michigan’s Corsi also stayed around 50 percent for the weekend, when the Wolverines dominated UMass Lowell 8-4. I’ll provide some more context into Michigan’s Corsi later on.

As like last week, I listed the stats below, but I’ve also provided some context with a focus on Corsi in close-score situations. (This also might be worth checking out for Michigan and Michigan State, because I watched them last weekend against BU.)

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Three Things I Think: Big Ten, Oct. 27

Monday, October 27th, 2014

The Big Ten fared much better this week, going 5-3-0. Minnesota and Penn State both swept the weekend, while Michigan split and Michigan State lost both games.

I’m a little proud of myself for correctly guessing the results of all of the games this weekend. But predicting some of these outcomes, even though it’s still early, has gotten easier.

Minnesota continued its strong start to the season with two victories over Bemidji State. The Gophers put up five goals in each contest, earning scoring from several different players. The Gophers are now 4-0-0 on the season.

Surprisingly or unsurprisingly, depending on how you feel about Michigan, the Wolverines took down UMass Lowell 8-4 on Friday before falling 3-2 to Boston University. Michigan State played in two one-goal contests, dropping games against both the River Hawks and Terriers.

Penn State swept Holy Cross with a 3-1 and 7-1 wins. That’s the second time this young season the Nittany Lions have won 7-1. Freshman Scott Conway had two goals and tow assists in the win, while Rickey DeRosa added three assists. Taylor Holstrom recorded an assist in each game, and he’s now the team’s leading scorer with eight points.

The results seemed to confirm a few things: Minnesota is still dominant, Penn State might be a top-three conference team, and Michigan State still plays in close games.

(After the jump: Michigan is for real, why the Spartans are good and why they’re bad, and how Penn State could finish third.) (more…)

Weekend Preview: Big Ten, Oct. 24

Friday, October 24th, 2014

Four Big Ten teams will return to action this weekend after the conference collected a 2-7-1 record last weekend. Michigan and Michigan State were the only two teams who won, defeating UNH and Massachusetts, respectively.

Both Wisconsin and Ohio State were swept last week, and both teams will sit off for a bye this weekend. The Badgers dropped two games to Northern Michigan, falling to 0-4-0 on the season, while Ohio State lost to Miami.

The Spartans and the Wolverines continue the Big Ten-Hockey East challenge with a trip to Massachusetts. Both teams will face Boston University and UMass Lowell. 

Both Penn State and Minnesota will host matchups this weekend. The Nittany Lions return home after the Brice Alaska Goal Rush. The Gophers will host in-state rival Bemidji State.

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Big Ten: A Look Into Corsi, Week Two

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

This week was a difficult one for the Big Ten. With Minnesota on a bye, the conference finished 2-7-1. Wisconsin and Ohio State were swept, with Michigan and Michigan State picking up the only conference wins.

I calculated Corsi statistics for Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State and Michigan State based on the statistics available. After looking at Ohio State’s stats, and the shot charts from various periods, it’s easy to see the Buckeyes had possession problems over the weekend.

Below is a list of the Corsi stats for those teams (I haven’t been able to put it into a table yet, so it’s still a long list). Below the stats, I provided a breakdown with context of each period. I hope this information will provide some more background to the stats. (more…)

Three Things I Think: Big Ten, Oct. 20

Monday, October 20th, 2014

Well, things aren’t going well for Big Ten hockey. The conference went a combined 2-7-1 last weekend, with Michigan and Michigan State picking up the only wins. Both Wisconsin and Ohio State were swept, while Penn State lost and tied at the Brice Alaska Goal Rush.

Michigan started the weekend with a 5-1 loss to UNH at home. After starting Zach Nagelvoort on Friday, the Wolverines opted for Steve Racine on Saturday. Behind goals from Michael Downing and Cutler Martin, Michigan salvaged the weekend with a 2-1 win on Saturday. Even with the win, losing 5-1 at home for Michigan is a scary thought.

The Spartans split their series with Massachusetts, earning a 5-3 win and then falling 4-3. It’s early, but that puts Michigan State ahead of their 2.19 goals per game average from last season. It’s early, but the Spartans offense has really gotten a boost from a healthy Matt Berry, who recorded three points (2g, 1a) in each game over the weekend.

(After the jump: Ohio State’s possession problems, Penn State’s surprise start, Ohio State’s goalkeeping) (more…)

Big Ten: A Look Into Corsi, Week One

Friday, October 17th, 2014

Since advanced stats like Corsi are becoming more and more important, I wanted to try calculating them for Big Ten hockey. This is my first attempt, and it’s what will become a weekly calculation and breakdown of Corsi stats within the conference.

Corsi essentially measures puck possession, accounting for all shots taken by both teams. I won’t go into a more in-depth explanation of how Corsi came about, but if you’re interested in that and more advanced stats, check out Scott McLaughlin’s piece on WEEI.

To calculate the Corsi stats for each team, I looked through the available play-by-play archives of five games from last weekend: Minnesota’s matches at the Icebreaker tournament, Ohio State’s contests against Providence and Penn State’s 7-1 win over UConn. I manually counted each shot and denoted when it was taken, so I could break up Corsi by period and by situation.

I ended up with several categories for each period and the game overall: 5-on-5 play, penalty kill, even strength and total Corsi. I chose to express the stats as percentages.

I’m a big fan of stats, but I know they’re only telling when you put them in context. So I wanted to compare these stats to what I saw in the games, but I only watched Minnesota last week. As far as the Gophers are concerned, their total Corsi of 62.79 percent against RPI last Sunday supports how much Minnesota dominated the Engineers. The Gophers also recorded a 5-on-5 first-period Corsi of 70.98 percent. (more…)

Weekend Preview: Big Ten, Oct. 17

Friday, October 17th, 2014

All of the Big Ten teams are in action this week except for Minnesota, which has a bye after the Icbreaker Tournament.

Michigan State will take the ice for its first game of the season, while Penn State heads to Alaska for the Brice Goal Rush. Ohio State has a home-and-home with Miami and Michigan hosts New Hampshire. Wisconsin and Northern Michigan will play two in Green Bay, Wisc.

It’s early, so there isn’t much to say about these matchups or what these teams look like, but hopefully this week will give us some more insight. (more…)

Three Things I Think: Big Ten, Oct. 12

Monday, October 13th, 2014

The college hockey season officially kicked off this weekend, and all the Big Ten teams were in action save Michigan and Michigan State.

And it’s definitely a new season.

Wisconsin is 0-2-0 after dropping two games in the Kendall Hockey Classic and scoring three goals in total. Penn State is 1-0-1 after the weekend, when the Nittany Lions tied UConn and then won 7-1. Penn State hit a series of program firsts with the win, as it was the first seven-goal game against a Division I opponent, the first win over UConn and the first Hockey East victory.

The stories are different for Penn State and Wisconsin, but it’s been much of the same for Minnesota. The Gophers defeated Minnesota-Duluth and then dominated RPI over the weekend to claim their second-straight Ice Breaker championship.

While Minnesota played a closer game with UMD, the Gophers just crushed the Engineers. The only reason Minnesota didn’t score more than three goals is because Jason Kasdorf is back in net for RPI.

While it’s only been one weekend, Minnesota really does look like the team most of us think will win the NCAA tournament. It’s hard to argue with a powerful offense, Kyle Rau, a spectacular defense and a wall in net with Adam Wilcox.

So far, Michigan State is the only team that hasn’t played a regular-season game yet.

(After the jump: It’s still early, Wisconsin’s learning curve and Ohio State’s scoring surprise) (more…)

Thoughts on the Big Ten Tournament

Monday, March 24th, 2014

After Wisconsin beat Ohio State in overtime, Mark Zengerle said the game-winning goal was a blur.

That’s how I feel about the entire weekend.

Unfortunately I missed the first two games of the tournament, but flew in on Friday to catch the semifinals. It was a long day at the Xcel Energy Center, but everything was organized well, from game notes to press conferences.

But it was nothing compared to Saturday.

At the same time the Badgers and Buckeyes were playing each other for the Big Ten title in St. Paul, Minn., North Dakota was waiting and watching in Minneapolis, Minn., hoping for a Badger win. Their fans were watching there as well, as North Dakota had played in the NCHC consolation game at the Target Center earlier in the day.

If Ohio State won the Big Ten title, North Dakota would miss the NCAA Tournament.

Oddly, we checked Twitter from the Xcel Energy Center for reactions from the North Dakota camp as the Wisconsin-Ohio State game continued.

When Wisconsin’s Mark Zengerle scored the championship-winning goal on Saturday, the Xcel Energy Center went insane. And so did Minneapolis, where North Dakota fans were following the game (Brad Schlossman, North Dakota reporter, put together a great piece on what that situation was like).

Blur, yes. (more…)