Michelle McMahon, February 6, 2015
Last weekend had m ore heated rivalries as Wisconsin faced Minnesota and Michigan State took on Michigan at Detroit's Joe Louis Arena. Michigan State managed to snap Michigan?s seven-game win streak last Friday night, and the teams meet again Saturday in the Hockey City Classic at Chicago's Soldier Field.
FRIDAY, JAN. 23
- MICHIGAN STATE 2, No. 13 MICHIGAN 1
- MINNESOTA 7, WISCONSIN 5
SATURDAY, JAN. 24
- PENN STATE 4, No. 14 Vermont, 2
- WISCONSIN 4, MINNESOTA, 4 (Badgers won in SO, 3-2)
All six Big Ten teams play this weekend:
No. 14 MICHIGAN VS MICHIGAN STATE
When: Saturday, Feb. 7 at 8 p.m. ET
How to watch: Friday?s game airs live on BTN and BTN2GO
Players to watch: Michigan?s Dylan Larkin leads all Big Ten freshmen with 30 points (10 G, 20 A) on the season. Larkin was also named HCA National Rookie of the month for January 2015. Spartan goaltender Jake Hildebrand shut down the lethal Wolverine offense with 29 saves on Friday night. He boasts a .920 save percentage and earned the Big Ten First Star of the Week for the second week in a row.
The latest on the Wolverines: Michigan is now 15-8-0 overall and sits atop the Big Ten rankings with a 7-2-0 record. Michigan?s power play continues to display dominance as they lead the nation with a 42.1 percent (16-for-38) conversion rate on the man advantage.
The latest on the Spartans: After a win over Michigan last Friday night, MSU jumped the Big Ten Rankings and is now tied with Penn State for second. Contrary to the Wolverine offense, Michigan State averages a .862 penalty kill percentage, which leads the Big Ten.
In summary: This game will be one to remember as the rivalry moves to Chicago?s Soldier Field stadium for the 2015 Hockey City Classic.
OHIO STATE AT MINNESOTA
When: Friday, Feb. 6 at 9:12 p.m. ET; Saturday, Feb. 7 at 8:05 p.m. ET
How to watch: Friday and Saturday?s game will air live on BTN and BTN2GO (Friday and Saturday)
Players to watch: Minnesota?s Seth Amboz scored four goals over the weekend, including a clutch tally to tie the game with just two seconds left. He earned Big Ten Second Star of the Week honors for his performance in Madison. Buckeye junior forward Anthony Greco leads the team with 12 goals and is tied for the team lead with 14 points on the season.
The latest on the Gophers: Minnesota holds a 3-2-3 record in the Big Ten and a 15-2-1 all-time record against the Buckeyes. The Gophers will be without sophomore forward Connor Reilly, who?s out indefinitely after a hit to the knee last weekend.
The latest on the Buckeyes: Ohio State is now 12-9-3 overall and 2-6-0 in the B1G. In their last meeting with the Gophers, No. 4 seed Ohio State defeated No. 1-ranked and top seeded in the 2014 Big Ten Tournament semifinals.
In summary: Minnesota is in desperate need of Big Ten wins? or any wins for that matter to regain the respect they once had at the beginning of this season.
WISCONSIN AT PENN STATE
When: Friday, Feb. 6 at 6:30 p.m. ET; Saturday, Feb. 7 at 2 p.m.
How to watch: Friday?s game will air live on BTN and Saturday?s game will air live on ASN. Both games will air live on BTN2Go (Friday and Saturday).
Players to watch: Wisconsin?s goaltender Joel Rumpel earned the No. 1 spot in the NCAA?s Top 5 Plays of the week after a great save against Justin Kloos. He had 42 saves against the Gophers last Saturday night. Penn State?s David Thompson earned the game-winning goal (and his first collegiate goal) against No. 14 Vermont, which in turn granted him Big Ten Third Star of the Week.
The latest on the Badgers: Wisconsin has been struggling with a 2-16-4 overall record and a 0-6-2-conference record. Wisconsin will be without freshman forward Corbin McGuire for Friday?s game for kneeing Minnesota?s Connor Reilly last Saturday.
The latest on the Nittany Lions: Penn State is second in the Big Ten with a 5-2-1 record and is 13-7-4 overall. This team has acquired the nickname ?the comeback kids? after defeating No. 14 Vermont last weekend. The Nittany Lions are tied for the nation?s lead in third-period goals with 16.
In summary: Although struggling, Wisconsin is coming off a tie and SO win against Minnesota, which could give them the confidence they need heading to Pegula. Penn State on the other hand, perhaps not getting the credit they deserve playing consistently well, especially in the third period.