staff, November 13, 2014

Another weekend of college hockey is in the books and Minnesota continues their dominance atop the national rankings. Let's have a look at the last weekend as well as the weekend ahead.

The Big Ten contenders in the Hockey East/Big Ten challenge did well over the weekend. Remember the point scoring for this series? It's two points for a win, one point for a tie, and a bonus point for a win on the road.


Minnesota swept Notre Dame at home winning 5-0 Friday and 4-2 Sunday to earned the Big Ten four points. Michigan State split with New Hampshire on the road winning 4-3 Friday and losing 4-3 Saturday to add three points for the Big Ten. The Big Ten now leads the challenge 19-18. It continues this weekend with Penn State vs. UMass-Lowell.

In other non-conference action, Wisconsin was swept at home by No. 2 North Dakota. The Badgers fell 4-3 Friday and 5-1 on Saturday. Ohio State was also swept at home by then-No. 19 Nebraska-Omaha, 4-1 on Friday and 4-3 Saturday.

Looking ahead, five of the six Big Ten teams return to non-conference action this weekend. No. 1 Minnesota will face in-state rival No. 13 Minnesota Duluth in a home series this weekend. Michigan State will face No. 8 Boston College. Michigan and Penn State return to the ice after a weekend of rest against AIC and UMass Lowell respectively.

Ohio State is off, but will kick off Big Ten conference action next Thursday Nov. 20 against Michigan. The Badgers will also be off this weekend.

Let?s take a closer look at some upcoming series this weekend:


When: Friday at 8 p.m. ET; Saturday at 8 p.m. ET

How to watch: Friday?s game airs live on FS North/BTN2Go

Players to watch: Junior goaltender, Adam Wilcox, contributed another shutout performance defeating Notre Dame 5-0 last Friday. That was his ninth career shutout and the all-American now owns sole possession of second place on Minnesota?s all-time shutout list. Sophomore forward Taylor Cammarata picked up three assists in Saturday?s victory over the Fighting Irish.

The latest on the Gophers: The Gophers return to non-conference action and are fresh off a sweep against then No. 15 Notre Dame. They extended the nation?s longest win streak at home to 17 games. Last week, senior forward Sam Warning scored within the first 29 seconds of the puck dropping on Saturday. Sealing the deal, sophomore defensemen Michael Bordzinski scored the final Gopher goal in the second period. With a 4-2 victory over Notre Dame, Minnesota moves to 7-1-0 on the year.

About the opponent: Minnesota Duluth is 6-4-0 overall, and is riding a three-game winning streak after sweeping then-No. 7 St. Cloud State University last weekend on the road. SCSU was the first team to give the Gophers their only loss of the season. UMD jumped four spots in the Top 20 rankings this week to No. 13. They are among six NCHC teams to break into the USCHO poll (see below).

In summary: A difficult matchup for the Gophers nonetheless, but may their undefeated magic at Mariucci arena continue.

Team (First Place Votes) Record Points Last Poll
1 Minnesota (45) 7- 1-0 995 1
2 North Dakota ( 3) 7- 1-1 949 2
3 Boston University 5- 1-1 852 5
4 Massachusetts-Lowell 6- 1-2 798 6
5 Michigan Tech ( 2) 8- 0-0 790 9
6 Colgate 7- 3-0 716 4
7 Miami 7- 3-0 666 11
8 Boston College 4- 4-0 606 3
9 Minnesota State 7- 3-0 513 13
10 Vermont 6- 1-1 500 14
11 Denver 5- 3-0 404 10
12 Union 5- 4-1 392 8
13 Minnesota-Duluth 6- 4-0 370 17
14 Nebraska-Omaha 6- 1-1 317 19
15 St. Cloud State 3- 5-0 311 7
16 Providence 3- 4-1 253 12
17 Robert Morris 7- 0-1 178 18
18 Northern Michigan 6- 1-1 174 20
19 Bowling Green 7- 2-1 153 NR
20 Quinnipiac 5- 2-1 144 NR
Others receiving votes: Notre Dame 109, Ferris State 107, St. Lawrence 59, Merrimack 51, Harvard 36, Penn State 30, Michigan 11, Western Michigan 9, Cornell 4, Connecticut 1, Mercyhurst 1, Ohio State 1.


When: Friday at 7:15 p.m. ET; Saturday at 7 p.m. ET

Players to watch: Taylor Holstrom, David Goodwin, and Casey Bailey have contributed eleven goals, fifteen assists, and seventy-nine shots combined over the last eight games. Their line has been a weapon for the Nittany Lions by accounting for more than 30 percent of the Penn State offense.

The latest on the Nittany Lions: Penn State is set to begin its third year as a D1 program. They return all but two players from last year?s roster. Under the leadership of head coach Guy Gadowsky, Penn State holds a 5-1-2 record with their only loss coming from Alaska. The Nittany Lions most recently earned two sweeps over Holy Cross and Bentley.

About the opponent: UMass-Lowell boasts a 6-1-2 record overall with notable wins against Boston College, Michigan State, and Northeastern University. Look out for forward Chris Maniccia, a sophomore tied for the team lead in goals scored with 4.

In summary: This is the second to last series remaining for the Big Ten/Hockey East challenge. The Nittany Lions will have the opportunity to earn their keeps in the Big Ten conference and gain recognition across the nation with a win over a national power and heavy favorite.



When: Friday at 7:35 p.m. ET & Saturday at 7:35 p.m. ET

How to watch: Friday and Saturday?s game airs live on BTN Plus – watch Friday's here and Saturday's here.

Players to watch: Senior forward Zach Hyman leads the team in goals (3) and assists (5). Keep an eye out for freshman forward Dylan Larkin, who has had an immediate impact with 3 goals and 4 assists. In the defensive zone, look for freshman Zach Werenski, who has 6 points this season.

The latest on the Wolverines: A rocky start for Michigan, they enter the weekend 2-5-0 on the season. Most recently, the Wolverines were swept on the road against Michigan Tech, who is now ranked No. 5 in the poll. Michigan coach Red Berenson summed it up: ?We?ve got to be better with the puck and without the puck.?

About the opponent: American International College is 2-5-1 on the season with notable losses to Union and UMass. Key players for the Yellow Jackets are senior center Alexander MacMillan, sophomore left wing Austin Orszulak, and freshman goalkeeper Alex Murray. MacMillan had the game-winning goals in AIC?s sweep over Niagra University and scored three goals that weekend.

In summary: If they can take care of the puck, this is a good opportunity for the Wolverines to balance out their win-loss column and capitalize on their two weeks of practice.