Weekend Preview: Big Ten, Oct. 17

Posted by: Jashvina Shah

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.

Ohio State (1-1-0) vs. Miami (1-1-0): Oct. 17 at 7 p.m., Oct. 18 at 7:05 p.m.

The Buckeyes continue their season with a home-and-home series against Miami. Ohio State is coming off two overtime Providence, and Miami just split a home-and-home series with Bowling Green.

After losing its top-two scorers from last season, the Buckeyes were in search of scoring – and that’s what they got in the 5-4 win over Providence. Anthony Greco recorded a hat trick, while Tanner Fritz recorded four points.

The RedHawks are supposed to be a good team this year because its returning most of last season’s roster. After an appearance in the Big Ten championship game, Ohio State is expected to have an average season. But if the Buckeyes can replace the voids left from the leading scorers, they have a chance to surprise this year.

Prediction: Series split (Bold, I know)

Michigan (0-1-0) vs. New Hampshire (0-1-0): Oct. 17 at 7:35 p.m., Oct. 18 at 7:35 p.m.

The Wolverines opened their season early, and it ended in a 4-3 loss to Ferris State. It was a rough start for the Wolverines, but Michigan fought back to close the gap late in the game.

Last season the Wolverines spent a weekend in New Hampshire — a memorable series because Zach Nagelvoort made his collegiate debut that weekend, earning a 3-2 overtime win.

Michigan has a couple high-profile freshmen – Zach Werenski and Dylan Larkin – whom are expected to contribute. Throw in solid leadership behind Andrew Copp and leading scorer JT Compher, and this is a Wolverine team that can do some damage.

Yes, it was a tough start to the season, but this should be a better weekend for Michigan.

Prediction: Michigan sweeps

Penn State (1-0-1) vs. Alaska Anchorage (2-0-0) and Alaska (2-0-0): Oct. 17 at 9:07 p.m., Oct. 18 at 11:07 p.m.

Penn State is the second Big Ten team to play in Alaska this young season, as Wisconsin was there last week. This weekend, Penn State will face Alaska and Alaska Anchorage in the Brice Goal Rush.

Last week Penn State accomplished some program firsts with a tremendous 7-1 win over UConn. In Alaska, the Seawolves and Nanooks both defeated Wisconsin and Maine.

This is Penn State’s first appearance against Alaska and Alaska Anchorage, but the Nittany Lions have a few Alaska connections. Coach Guy Gadowsky coached at Alaska for five seasons, Eric Scheid played for Alaska Anchorage in 2010-11 and Casey Bailey is from Anchorage. 

A 7-1 Penn State win over any team, especially this early in the season, is impressive. Matthew Skoff is a good netminder and Penn State is looking to build up after last season. It’s also really hard to judge what teams Alaska Anchorage and Alaska are right now.

Prediction: Penn State wins the Brice Goal Rush (That one is bold)

Wisconsin (0-2-0) vs. Northern Michigan (0-0-0): Oct. 17 at 8 p.m., Oct. 18 at 8 p.m.

Let the tough Wisconsin season continue. The Badgers return to Wisconsin to face Northern Michigan after dropping both games at the Kendall Hockey Classic last weekend.

With all its scoring gone and 11 freshmen on the roster, the Badgers need strong goaltending. They have Joel Rumpel, who sat on Friday (due to an early exam) in favor of Landon Peterson. Rumpel played on Saturday.

The Badgers had 10 freshmen on ice last weekend, and it’s the first time since 2004 Wisconsin has relied that heavily on freshmen. The rookies combined for all of Wisconsin’s six points on the weekend, including both goals.

It’s always hard rebounding after heavy scoring losses, but don’t forget about the goaltending.

Prediction: Series split

Michigan State (0-0-0) vs. Massachusetts (0-1-0): Oct. 17 at 7 p.m., Oct. 18 at 7 p.m.

This will be Michigan State’s first game of the season, while Massachusetts dropped an 8-1 decision to Boston University.

Like many other Big Ten teams, the Spartans waved goodbye to a bunch of its scoring and leadership last season. Finding the back of the net will be a challenge for Michigan State, but keeping pucks out of their own shouldn’t be. Jake Hildebrand is one of the top goaltenders in the Big Ten, and gives the Spartans a chance to win.

Prediction: Michigan State sweeps

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