Michelle McMahon, November 20, 2014

We?re entering another weekend of non-conference hockey action but Big Ten play also begins this week. We touch on last week's games and look ahead to this weekend. Plus, watch our weekly BTN Hockey Report video show in this post as well.


Before we look ahead to the weekend, let's take a closer look at the Big Ten's 4-5 record this past weekend.

Minnesota suffered its first sweep at home since March of 2013, ending its 17-game home winning streak. Penn State is now on the map and contributed three points to the Big Ten/Hockey East challenge with a road win against #4 UMass Lowell. The Wolverines earned their first sweep of the season over AIC.

Here are last weekend's full results.

#8 Boston College def. Michigan State, 3-2
#4 UMass Lowell def. Penn State, 5-3
Michigan def. American International 5-2
#13 Minnesota Duluth def. #1 Minnesota, 3-0
Ohio State def. #19 Bowling Green, 3-2

#19 Bowling Green def. Ohio State, 3-2
Penn State def. #4 UMass Lowell, 4-1
Michigan def. American International, 6-3
#13 Minnesota Duluth def. #1 Minnesota, 2-1


Big Ten season is finally upon us, so let?s have a look at the matchups:

: 7 p.m. ET, Thursday & Friday
How to watch: Thursday?s game airs live on BTN2Go and Fox Sports Plus.
Players to watch: Michigan State?s Michael Ferrantino has been a bright spot on offense this season. He has five goals and eight points on the season so far. Spartan goaltender Jake Hildebrand anchors the defense averaging a .912 save percentage. Buckeye forward Tanner Fritz leads the team with nine points and has six assists on the season. Anthony Greco leads Ohio State with five goals.
The latest on the Spartans: Michigan State lost a close contest on Friday night falling 3-2 to Boston College. They enter Big Ten Play 3-6-0 overall against a tough non-conference schedule. In its last two-game series, Michigan State split two games at New Hampshire. The Spartans have lost by one goal in five of their nine games this season.
The latest on the Buckeyes: Ohio State enters the weekend 3-6-1 and is coming off a split against in-state rival Bowling Green last weekend. The Buckeyes have also faced a tough non-conference schedule. They were swept twice this season against Miami of Ohio and Nebraska-Omaha. The team is averaging 2.4 goals a game and the penalty kill is 30-for-36.
In Summary: Offensive production continues to be a question mark for the Spartans as they continue to search for more scoring. Perhaps the stars will align for MSU against a Buckeye team that?s still striving to find consistency on defense. Last time these two teams faced, OSU defeated MSU in overtime in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament in March.


: 7:30 p.m. ET, Friday & Saturday
How to watch: Both games will air live on BTN2Go. Here's Friday's link to watch and Saturday's link.
Players to watch: Taylor Holstrom, David Goodwin, and Casey Bailey continue to be a dangerous trio for Penn State and remain atop the team?s scoring leaders. Bailey scored two goals and Holstrom notched three assists in its victory over No. 4 UMass Lowell. Wolverine junior captain Andrew Copp has proven to be an offensive threat and has scored in the last three games. Look for Michigan?s Tyler Motte and Cristoval Nieves to also be key contributors offensively.
The latest on the Nittany Lions: Penn State defeated the highest-ranked opponent in program history after beating No. 4 UMass Lowell, 4-1, on Saturday night. Sophomore goaltender Eamon McAdam played in his first game of the season and made 24 saves to earn his first collegiate victory. McAdam and his Nittany Lion defense held UMass Lowell to its fewest goals this season. They enter the weekend 6-2-2 overall.
The latest on the Wolverines: Michigan swept AIC last weekend and improved its record to 4-5-0. Four different Wolverines recorded multi-point nights in the victory on Saturday. Travis Lynch notched two goals, Zach Werenski earned two assists, Alex Kile and Zach Hyman each had a goal and an assist. Five different players scored in its 6-3 victory. The Wolverines recorded a season-high 46 shots on net.
In Summary: Penn State earned its first Big Ten victory over Michigan last season. The Nittany Lions look to continue their momentum from their big weekend victory over UML. Michigan seems to be coming together after a confidence-boosting win over AIC. Penn State is proving to be a team that the Wolverines certainly should not overlook.


And, here's a look at the latest NCAA.com poll:

1 Michigan Tech (24) 10-0-0 940 5
2 North Dakota (12) 8-2-1 916 2
3 Boston University (14) 6-1-1 913 3
4 Minnesota 7-3-0 830 1
5 Massachusetts-Lowell 7-2-2 731 4
6 Colgate 8-3-1 726 6
7 Miami (Ohio) 8-4-0 686 7
8 Minnesota-Duluth 8-4-0 663 13
9 Minnesota State-Mankato 7-3-0 574 9
10 Denver 6-3-0 509 11
11 Vermont 7-2-1 477 10
12 Boston College 5-5-0 439 8
13 Nebraska-Omaha 6-1-1 394 14
14 Quinnipiac 7-2-1 283 20
15 Union (N.Y.) 6-5-1 249 12
16 St. Cloud State 4-5-1 248 15
17 Northern Michigan 6-1-1 205 18
18 Bowling Green 8-3-1 177 19
19 Providence 4-5-1 163 16
20 Robert Morris 7-1-2 108 17

Dropped out: None.

Others receiving votes: Merrimack 61, St. Lawrence 54, Ferris State 53, Harvard 44, Notre Dame 22, Penn State 19, Yale 15, Michigan 1.