MHKY: Around the Big Ten

Story posted February 1, 2018 in Sports, CommRadio by By Tom Johnston

The Big Ten conference is winding down in conference as we approach yet another weekend filled with Big Ten Hockey play. With the Fighting Irish still atop the Big Ten standings, they have cooled off just a little bit. Other teams ,such as Ohio State, are still fighting hard in the second seed.

Tied for the No. 1 overall rank are the Notre Dame Fighting Irish who come into this weekend with an overall record of 20-5-1 and 14-2-0 in Big Ten play. Last weekend, the Fighting Irish split the weekend series with the Minnesota Golden Gophers at Minnesota. They dropped the first game in the series by a score of 1-0 in overtime, but the Fighting Irish did manage to win the latter game 4-1. The Irish are led on offense by Jake Evans who leads the team with 31 points via nine goals and 22 assists.

This weekend, the Fighting Irish travel to Pegula Ice Arena for a weekend series with No. 15 Penn State. This will be the Fighting Irish's first trip ever to Penn State. Both teams faced off in a weekend series in south bend earlier in the season where the Fighting Irish took both games 5-3 and 1-0, respectively. Penn State is currently tied for fourth in the Big Ten standings and has an overall record of 13-11-4 and 6-8-4 in Big Ten play. Andrew Sturtz leads the Nittany Lions offense with 31 points via 11 goals and 20 assists.

Last weekend, the Nittany Lions had a weekend series with the Wisconsin Badgers where they lost the first game 4-2 and tied the second game 4-4 with a loss in the shootout. The Nittany Lions are averaging almost four goals per game while the defense allows an average a little over three a game.

No. 6 Ohio State is in second place in the conference. Last weekend, the Buckeyes welcomed No. 16 Michigan last weekend where Ohio State swept the series 4-0 and 5-3 respectively. With last weekends sweep the Buckeyes took all four games this season from the Wolverines.

This weekend, the Buckeyes welcome Michigan State who sits at the bottom of the division. Ohio State's overall record is 17-5-4 and 10-5-1 in Big Ten play. On the other hand, Michigan State is coming off a bye weekend their overall record is 9-16-1 and 3-12-1 in Big Ten play. Michigan State is having an abysmal season, but they will try to turn things around this weekend.

No. 19 Wisconsin travels to No. 16 Michigan this weekend for a series in Ann Arbor.  Both teams met for a weekend series earlier in Wisconsin where the series split the Badgers won the first game 7-3 and tied the latter game 4-4. Wisconsin has an overall record of 13-12-4 and 7-8-3 in the Big Ten. Meanwhile, the Wolverines have an overall record of 12-12-2 and 7-9-2 in the Big Ten.

No. 11 Minnesota Golden Gophers have the weekend off of Big Ten action. Their overall record stands at 16-13-1 and 7-10-1 in the Big Ten conference play. Last weekend they faced Notre Dame where they split the series winning the first game 1-0 in overtime and losing the latter 4-1. When they return, they will travel to for a weekend to Wisconsin.

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