Tuesday, December 10, 2013

An Old New:First Big Ten Weekend Looks Oddly Familiar

It was dubbed as “NEW” but this weekend's match-ups reeked of familiarity and they came and went without the travesty that many fans saw Big Ten hockey as.

Yes, the first weekend of Big Ten hockey action featured series' between former conference foes; Wisconsin at Minnesota, Ohio State and Michigan. Teams that had met in the past and have already established a rivalry among them.

Starting off the conference with these teams probably was the best route the Big Ten could go. A cherry on top is that all four are doing decently well across the board, especially Minnesota and Michigan who are the top two teams in the conference and No. 1 and 3 respectively in the nation.

So why the big hoopla leading up to this point? Were things any different?


Friday, November 22, 2013

The B1G Scoreboard (11/22/13-11/24/13)

Men's Scores From 11/22/13:

Women's Scores From 11/22/13:

  • Penn State 1, Lindenwood 2
  • Ohio State 1, Minnesota State 4
  • Wisconsin 0, North Dakota 0 OT (Wisconsin wins shootout 1-0)

Men's Scores From 11/23/13:

Women's Scores From 11/23/13:

  • Penn State 4, Lindenwood 1
  • Ohio State 1, Minnesota State 2
  • Wisconsin 3, North Dakota 1 
  • Minnesota 5, Yale 1

Men's Scores From 11/24/13: 

Women's Scores From 11/24/13:

  • Minnesota 4, Yale 1

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

1° Below Freezing: Quick Hits In B1G Hockey

Streak Stops: It was an impressive run but it was bound to end sometime. The University of Minnesota women's hockey team was handed its first loss since 2012 on Sunday. After a 6-1 route of North Dakota on Saturday, the Gophers fell 3-2 at home thanks to three first-period goals from North Dakota. The loss ended an NCAA-record win streak of 62 consecutive games. Minnesota's last loss was also to North Dakota on Feb. 17, 2012. Gopher head coach Brad Frost tweeted the following the game Sunday:

"Thank you to all of the coaches, media, fans, alums and supporters of women's hockey for the humbling congrats on the streak. It was an incredible run. To go 639 days without a loss and 62 games was truly remarkable and special. I am so proud of our current players, staff and the three teams of former players who were all part of this streak. We will never forget being involved with it. 
"The game has grown and we are very proud of that. We will learn from tonight and continue with out ultimate goals for the season. Thanks again everyone -- Brad."

During the streak, the Gophers out-scored their opponents 311-60 and out-shot them 2,343-1,421.

Still On Top: One loss didn't hinder the Gopher women's team in the slightest, maintaining the No. 1 spot in the USCHO women's and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine women's college polls. The ladies' counterpart, the Minnesota men's team, is also still holding the No. 1 ranking in both polls for the fifth straight week. Also holding their own in the rankings was Michigan in at No. 5 in both polls and Wisconsin at No. 12 in both, too. Ohio State earned 63 votes in USCHO.com's polls and 3 votes with USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine but didn't break into either.

Ohio State Solid: I came across more than a few people, blogs and articles touting the Buckeyes to be stellar this year, some even predicting them to win the Big Ten. Like I'm sure plenty of you (outside of OSU fans) are doing right now, I shook my head and laughed -- thinking it couldn't be true. Well, I have to admit Ohio State has impressed me so far in this early season and the emergence of some dominate forwards has me now slightly seeing the possibility -- though not 100% clearly. Tanner Fritz and Ryan Dzingel are proving to be the real deal and have helped the Buckeyes to five-straight wins and a 6-1 homestand. They get a real test Nov. 29 with their first peek at Big Ten competition though against a familiar foe in Michigan. Looking forward to that B1G spotlight of the week.

Penn State: PSU made an effort in the weekend's second game against UMass- Lowell, bringing the game within 1 of the ranked River Hawks after a 4-0 rousing the night before. I hate to be the bearer of bad news for Nittany Lion loyals but the schedule is only going to get tougher. Penn State faces Boston College, Wisconsin and Minnesota in coming weeks, will be interesting to see how they fare then with some steady competition.

Where We're Ranking Up: Probably not surprising, the Big Ten isn't overwhelmingly dominating across teh nation. Still Big Ten teams are making a presence known on plenty of fronts.

  • Minnesota's Sam Warning in No. 5 in the nation in scoring with 17 points (5 G, 12 A) in 10 games played. Warning is also 4th in the country for assists.
  • Ohio State's Ryan Dzingel's 14 points in 12 games put him at No. 19 in the nation for scoring. The Buckeyes' Tanner Fritz is No. 16 in assists with 9.
  • Michigan's Zach Nagelvort is the Big Ten's best statistical goalie, coming in at No. 6. The freshman has a .94 save percentage and a 1.7089 goals against average through 7 games played.
  • The Gopher offense ranks second in the nation behind Hockey East foe Boston College. Minnesota is averaging 4.20 goals per game. Their defense is fourth with 1.9 goals against average so far this season. Ohio State's offense is ranked 10th (3.58 g/gp) and Michigan's defense is tied for seventh ( 2.00 ga/gp).
  • The Wolverines have the nation's fourth best powerplay so far this season going 11-for-40 and converting on 27.5%..
  • Penn State's penalty kill unit is the best from the Big Ten coming in at No. 18. They are 45-for-53 (84.9%) on the man down so far this season. But the Nittany Lions also rank third across Division I teams for penalty minutes, averaging 19.33 minutes per game in the sin bin.

Friday, November 15, 2013

The B1G Scoreboard (10/15/13-10/17/13)

Men's Scores From 10/14/13:
Men's Scores From 10/15/13:
Women's Scores From 10/15/13:
  • Penn State 1, RIT 2
  • Minnesota-Duluth 3, Ohio State 2
  • Northeastern 2, Wisconsin 3
Men's Scores From 10/16/13:
Women's Scores From 10/16/13:
  • Penn State 2, RIT 3 
  • Minnesota-Duluth 2, Ohio State 0
  • North Dakota 1, Minnesota 6
Women's Scores From 10/17/13:
  • North Dakota 3, Minnesota 2

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

1° Below Freezing: Quick Hits In B1G Hockey

Another week in the books for our Big Ten teams and one that saw many teams have success. Ohio State, Minnesota and Michigan players earn Big Ten Three Stars and for a change we don't totally disagree. Outside of that, in case you missed any of the weekend's action, here are our quick hits from around the league.

Go, Go, Gophers: For the second straight week Minnesota sits atop both major college hockey polls (USCHO.com and USA Today/ USA Hockey Magazine) after posting a 5-0-1 record so far this season. I've said it before and I'll say it again, the depth the Gophers have this year is unreal. Once again, 10 different players put up first-period points in Sunday's 6-1 rout of Boston College. Don Lucia said it after Minnesota's first game of the season:

"I think we're deeper than we've ever been. Last year I thought we were a little thin on some lines...We won't have one or two guys getting all the points, it will be more spread out. I think you'll see that all year."

While the scoring is spread out, junior Sam Warning is leading the team and the NCAA with a six-game point streak. Warning has 12 total points (5g, 7a) this season to tie him for first in scoring across the league.

Another streak worth mentioning is the six-game win streak Warning and the boys in maroon and gold are on. It's the Gophers best start since the 2008-09 season where the first loss didn't come until Nov. 22. But Minnesota will have its work cut out with a weekend off before a tough November schedule with familiar foes awaits (Notre Dame, Mankato, UMD and Wisconsin).
Ohio State Brings Out The Brooms: That's a sweep, the Buckeyes (3-3-0) earned their first wins of the season against a winless Robert Morris this past weekend. Ohio State continued the streak with a win Tuesday over Bowling Green. A cherry on top was junior forward Nick Oddo being named Big Ten's First Star of the Week for his three-point weekend (the only Big Ten player to do so this weekend). Oddo's line with Travis Statchuk and Matt Johnson combined for three goals and eight points. Things finally look like they might start to be clicking for the young Buckeye squad.

Michigan Holds Steady: A split against solid contenders with their first loss coming at the hands of UMass-Lowell, the Wolverines (4-1-1) stay in the No. 4 spot for both polls. Nothing to shutter at U-M faithful, the squad still looks great. In net Zach Nagelvoort (Big Ten's Third Star of the Week) looks comfortable, stopping an impressive 34 shots in Saturday's loss. Tyler Motte is leading the offense without hesitation. The defensive corps for the Wolverines are equally as impressive, ranking sixth in the nation with a 1.83 goals against average. Michigan has also held opponents to two goals or less in five of the six games this season. A weekend against Michigan Tech should be an easy test for Michigan.

Penn State Keeping Pace: The Nittany Lions are still looking good despite a recent 5-2 loss to Vermont. PSU is able to keep up with most of its opponents so far this season. Head Coach Guy Gadowsky told GoPSUSports.com that "I've learned this team has a lot more to learn." And with each game offers another learning experience for the DI newbies. I am liking the looks of Tommy Olyczk and Taylor Holmstrom as well as Nate Jensen and some of the younger defensemen. Time will tell for Penn State.

Spartans Sputter: First-win-monkey is off Michigan State's back. A rally from behind to topple ranked Boston University 3-1 looked promising but for the most part things are still a little sloppy looking for MSU. A Friday-Sunday series with American International might boost moral if they can pull it together.

Wisconsin Ready to Step Up?: A weekend off, the Badgers should be ready to roar back with a weekend against Lake Superior at the Kohl Center. They have so many of the pieces in place for a great season but are slumping similar to last year. Anxious to see how November treats them.

Monday, October 28, 2013

The B1G Scoreboard (10/25/13-10/27/13)

Men's Scores From 10/25/13:

Men's Scores From 10/26/13:

Men's Score From 10/27/13:

Women's Scores From 10/25/13:
  • No. 1/1 Minnesota 4, Bemidji State 0
  • Lindenwood 1, No. 2/2 Wisconsin 5

Women's Scores From 10/26/13:
  • No. 1/1 Minnesota 4, Bemidji State 3
  • New Hampshire 8, Penn State 5
  • Lindenwood 1, No. 2/2 Wisconsin 4

Women's Scores From 10/27/13:
  • New Hampshire 3, Penn State 1

Friday, October 25, 2013

B1G Weekend Matchups

The  Big Ten Network got lucky this weekend, able to host one of, in my opinion, the best matchups of the weekend with BC and Minnesota. This weekend also features the final points of the Hockey East vs. Big Ten Challenge. Hockey East currently leads 9-4 but Big Ten teams get home advantage this weekend. Game on.

No. 5 Boston College at No. 1 Minnesota – This tops the list for college matchups for the weekend. Two successful series sweeps for Minnesota moved the Gophers up in both college polls this week. BC is doing alright for themselves including a 9-2 romping of highly touted (and Minnesota rival) Wisconsin last Friday. Mariucci is one of the best places to hold home ice but guarantee that the Eagles recall last year’s 8-1 route by the Gophs and will want to avenge the loss. The Big Ten will broadcast Friday’s game and Fox Sports North takes on Sunday’s matinee feature at 1 p.m. CT.

No. 18/NR UMass-Lowell at No. 4 Michigan (and Michigan State) – After one lone week at No. 1 before being stunned and upset by Sacred Heart in the opening weekend, UMass-Lowell keeps the tumble with a home-and-home sweep by Quinnipiac last weekend. This is a team desperate for a win but it won’t be easy with games in the Mitten State. I am especially excited to see the Saturday contest against Michigan.

No. 13/14 Boston University at No. 4 Michigan -- BU faces Michigan State on Saturday, but again, that’s not the game I am interested in watching. The Wolverines have two big tests this weekend with above UMass-Lowell and BU who handed a beating to Wisconsin (tough Boston visit for the Badgers yikes) 7-3 last Saturday. Can’t wait to see if the Terriers or Wolverines have the bigger bite in this game.

Also this weekend:  RIT and Vermont at Penn State & Robert Morris vs. Ohio State home-and-home series. Wisconsin gets the weekend to recoup.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The B1G Scoreboard (10/10/13-10/13/13)

Men's Scores From 10/10/13:

Men's Scores From 10/11/13:

Men's Scores From 10/12/13:

Women's Scores From 10/11/13:

  • St. Cloud 2, Ohio State 2 (OT, SCSU wins in SO)
  • Minnesota 2, Wisconsin 1
  • Quinnipiac 5, Penn State 1

Women's Scores From 10/12/13:

  • Ohio State 4, St. Cloud 2
  • Minnesota 2, Wisconsin 0
  • Quinnipiac 4, Penn State 0

Thursday, September 19, 2013

B1G Media Day: Preseason Polls, Players To Watch & What The Coaches Are Saying

Photo courtesy of Big Ten Hockey

By Jessi Pierce

Lots of action starting early this morning at the Xcel Energy Center as the St. Paul building hosted the inaugural Big Ten Media Day Thursday. And what a day of events it is as we get a peek at preseason favorites, hear from our favorite coaches and players and see what the B1G revealed as the playoff trophy.

Monday, September 16, 2013

"Hockey is B1G" -- The Newest Big Ten Network Hockey Promo

I have to give the Big Ten Network some props. The TV station is doing a great job of promoting the Big Ten hockey season, dropping commercials and notes during Big Ten football games and in between other sports airings.

It looks like they are ready to get fans excited for the season and I expect them to do a top notch job, apparent by the network's latest promo released today. The Big Ten Network TV schedule will also be released later this afternoon.

It's an exciting time for college hockey fans and Oct. 10 can't come soon enough.

To watch the video click here

Friday, September 6, 2013

Preseason Previews: Not looking any better for Michigan State

Spartan fans know, it was a rough year for MSU last season. A grim 14-26-3 overall record and a well below .500 conference finish, sorry to say I don't see things getting much better for Michigan State in the Big Ten conference this year.

They just don't have the players this season, or even that one extremely strong leader that Torey Krug was to help aid struggles on both offense and defense.

And then there's the question of will they be able to regroup from last year?

To be honest they do have some solid players coming in, including some Michigan natives which always has its own homer appeal. Head Coach Tom Anastos told MSUSpartans.comwww.msuspartans.com earlier this May:

"We are very excited about this class," said Anastos. "They possess a nice blend of scoring ability, size, speed, toughness and tenacity that will help us continue our evolution into a championship-caliber team."  

One I am interested to see step up is Johnny Draeger. Draeger was the top point-producing defenseman at Shattuck-St. Mary's but struggled in green, putting up just six points on the season. Now entering his sophomore season I'd expect to see him more comfortable and put again in that role this year.

Of course the Chelios' brothers are both in their senior season this year and guessing family blood holds plenty of competitiveness and will to win that the duo won't want to go out on bottom (or as in my prediction, second to bottom of the conference).

On top of the limited roster depth, the schedule puts the Spartans in a tough spot with playing its rival Wolverine team each time before heading into equally big competition with Minnesota and Wisconsin. That could bode well for MSU though if they top Michigan in either of those series' that momentum could help them against Big Ten's big dog teams.

I guess we will see.

Preseason Prediction: Finish 5th of 6 in the Big Ten Conference with a 16-22 regular season record.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Preseason Previews: Penn State Still Too Many Unknowns

By Jessi Pierce
@jessi_pierce on Twitter

I know, I know, it seems predictable and I am sure you Nittany Lion fans have a thing or two to object to constantly being put at the bottom with so much to prove.

But that is exactly the reason I predict Penn State at the bottom of the Big Ten -- because there is just too much to prove with so many unknowns.

It's the team's first season in an organized NCAA conference against the big boys who have been doing it for decades. That's tough for any team to swallow.

Last year in its first Division I season, Penn State went a respectable 13-14 with notable wins over Michigan State and Wisconsin. But the rest of their schedule was fairly weak -- expected to ease the transition from ACHA to NCAA -- compared to what other B1G teams have faced in past years and jumping into that this year will be a large dose of Division I reality.

But it's not all grim of course for PSU this coming year.

Standouts on the squad include Tommy Olczyk, a junior and likely to lead the team, along with transfer Max Gardiner who already has experience on the Division I level as a former Minnesota Golden Gopher. Eamon McAdams (goalie from USHL's Waterloo Blackhawks) and Mike Williamson (defenseman from AJHL) total the number of NHL draft picks on the roster to four (along with Gardiner and RPI transfer Patrick Koudys), and I am anxious to see how they shake out.

But despite those names, like the team itself, the rest are still relatively unknown, in large part due to the fact Penn State hasn't been able to land some of the top recruits being so new to the DI market.

That said, I do have a lot of faith in Guy Gadowsky and the potential he sees in this program, and realistically it just is going to take some time for PSU to get the ice beneath their feet and their stride about them.

As Gadowsky told USCHO.com in a recent feature story:

“Night in and night out, the Big Ten will be extremely difficult,” he said. “But it’s fun, and that’s why you come to Penn State. The building will be ready in September and our first game is Oct. 11 [against Army], and then it’s on to the Big Ten schedule.

“There’s a lot of very exciting new things going on.”

Like any good sports journalist I do tend to root for the underdog and I would be more than happy to see Penn State prove me wrong, which they just might. Either way, I am excited to see how it pans out for the boys in blue and white and anxious to see where the move to in our mid-season previews.

Preseason Prediction: Bottom of Big Ten with a 12-22 regular season record

Monday, August 19, 2013

B1G Swag

By Jessi Pierce
@jessi_pierce on Twitter

Just another reminder that Big Ten hockey is here. This was spotted at Goldy's Locker Room, the only Big Ten hockey swag I have seen since the announcement.

The shirt looks sharp in black and is definitely a way to try get Gopher fans on board before October with the B1G logo very dominating and hard to miss...(foreshadowing?)

Online, the Big Ten hockey section currently only offers a Michigan NCAA championship DVD in its store, but we anticipate plenty in coming weeks, or maybe even more during Big Ten hockey media day in September.

But we want to see what else the Big Ten is going to roll out. Have you seen any apparel on campus or at your college stores? Send them to b1gicehockey@gmail.com or let us know what you'd think. Does a conference need to have specific sport apparel?

A letter to the Big Ten from (some) college hockey fans

Dear Big Ten,

We understand we can't stop what's about to happen to college hockey, just as long as you understand you forever changed the college hockey landscape, and change isn't always the easiest.

As long time fans devoted to our Michigans, Minnesotas and Wisconsins, we feel there are some things you should be aware of, being you guys are now in most likely unfamiliar territory on a rink instead of a basketball court or football field.

1. We aren't your biggest fans right now -- You can try sell us on how this is better for the sport of hockey on the collegiate level as a whole but the majority of us know that is a crock of soft ice shit. It's about money. We recognize that but in the process you removed us from beloved rivals and conferences that we have known and loved for years.

2. You have a lot to live up to -- As we mentioned in the first note,  the CCHA and WCHA are what we have known. Fox Sports North, Fox College Sports Channel and CBSC all adequately gave us plenty of hockey coverage. Admittedly you guys have been trying in the lead up, but you should know, we are going to expect a lot in the wake of taking over. Truthfully we can never get enough college hockey coverage, so pour it on we will eat it up. 

3. We're pretty hardcore fans. Every college sport has "their thing" be it tailgating in football or big heads in basketball, hockey has their chirping. It's true, us fans tend to hammer on opposing teams, complete with chants directed at the goaltender and more often than not, cursing is a large part of it. For those unfamiliar with this, it can be a bit of a shock, but rest assured it's just in good -- maybe not so clean -- fun.

4. Make sure you know the rules. The majority of us have been following hockey like our religion. We tend to know the rules like the back of our hand and will be sure to call you out on them if you don't.

5. We will eventually come around. Let's face it, we have no choice. And as you will quickly find, hockey fans are among the most passionate fans around. 

Sincerely yours, 

Badger/Spartan/Nittany Lions/Buckeye/Gopher/Wolverine ice fans 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Big Ten Hockey Schedule Released

By Jessi Pierce

In the words of this year’s Bud Light slogan: “Here we go.”
The Big Ten hockey conference is finally almost upon us, becoming more official with the release of the Big Ten hockey schedule earlier this week.

B1G Hockey kicks off with familiar rivals, as former CCHA foes Ohio State and Michigan duke it out in Ann Arbor on Nov. 29 and WCHA and longtime hockey rivals Wisconsin and Minnesota face a border battle at Mariucci the same night.

One of the biggest things to note on the Big Ten schedule is it deviates from the typical Friday/Saturday series games. Right off the bat, the opening Michigan and Ohio State matchup is played on Friday with the second game not played until Monday (Dec. 2 at Ohio State for a home-and-home series).
As many would have guessed this of course is to better accommodate the Big Ten Network T.V. schedule (clearly football gets precedence for Saturday primetime action). While I personally can never get enough college hockey, splitting a series to go Friday/Sunday or even Friday/Monday I am not particularly crazy about. Should be interesting to see what players and coaches think about it.

Having only six teams, there will be plenty of rotation between all of the programs and you can bet it won’t take too long for bad blood to form when facing eachother that often. Think about it.
It’s also nice to see that teams are still able to schedule games with some former opponents prior to jumping into Big Ten season. Minnesota has games with Bemidji, Boston College, Notre Dame, Mankato and Duluth before Big Ten play.

So what do you think of the scheduling? And are you ready for the season to hit?

Thursday, March 28, 2013

It's tourny time!

Ok, I'll admit. Total homer status on picking Minnesota as this year's tourny champs, but come on, did you really expect anything less? The Gophers and Wisconsin are the only two Big Ten teams in the tourny, with the Gophers taking the No. 1 spot in the west (played in Grand Rapids, Mich.) and Wisconsin coming in with the 4-seed in the Northeast (in New Hampshire).

Both teams play Friday, Gophers at 2 p.m. on ESPNU and Badgers at 4:30 on ESPN3. Will they advance? Who do you have taking it all in Pittsburgh?

1° Below Freezing: Quick Hits In B1G Hockey

By Jessi Pierce

Minnesota Women's team wins NCAA championship and 41 straight wins -- Remember this year's hype over the Miami Heat's win streak and the Chicago Blackhawks point streak? Well the Gopher women's hockey team shattered that value of impressiveness by winning back-to-back national championships this past weekend, capping off a perfect 41-0 season. The women beat Boston University at home and extended their win streak to 49 games. In doing so, the Gophers became the first Division I hockey team — men’s or women’s — to complete an undefeated NCAA championship season since the Cornell men’s team went 29-0 in 1970. Leave it to women to get the job done right...Congrats ladies!

Woah, Wisconsin -- At the end of November, I had all but counted Wisconsin out from a winning record, let alone a WCHA Final Five appearance. It might have been the Gopher fan in me, championing for them to fail; shame on me. Not only did the Badgers prove me wrong, they captured the WCHA conference tournament with a 3-2 win over Colorado College. Wisconsin has done a complete 180 and again look to be a potential national contender.

Two Big Ten teams make NCAA tourny -- Minnesota and Wisconsin are expected to be two of the most dominate programs in the Big Ten conference next year (no surprise) and both teams got the nod for the NCAA tournament, kicking off this weekend. The Gophers earned the No. 1 seed in the western regional taking place in Grand Rapids, Mich., and Wisconsin the No. 4 in the Northeast regional in New Hampshire. Despite Michigan making the CCHA tournament championship (falling to Notre Dame), they missed the cut along with Michigan State, Ohio State and Penn State. Minnesota plays at 2 p.m. on Friday against Yale (on ESPNU) and Wisconsin squares off against No. 1 UMass-Lowell at 4:30 p.m. on Friday (on ESPN3).

Don Lucia named 2014 U.S. World Junior coach -- Minnesota head coach Don Lucia adds a boost to his coaching resume, announced as the the 2014 head coach of the U.S. World Junior Championship team. Lucia will be joined behind the bench by Greg Brown, Boston College
associate head coach; Bob Motzko, head coach at St. Cloud State; David Lassonde, assistant coach at the University of Denver, and Dan Muse, assistant coach at Yale University, will serve as a video coach.

Follow Jessi Pierce on Twitter at @jessi_pierce

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Conference championships: B1G tourny & B1G trophy

By Jessi Pierce

Whew, where did the season go? Lots to be excited about with conference tournaments underway and even more to be excited about with the impending Frozen Four in Pittsburgh fast approaching.

Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ohio State and Michigan are still in action in semifinals this week in their respective conferences. Michigan State was bounced by Miami and Penn State played this year with no conference affiliation.

The Gophs got a share of the McNaughton Cup as WCHA regular season co-champs and I have to hand it to Wisco for coming back huge toward the end of the season. The Badgers went from the bottom of the barrel to contender for NCAA. Likewise Ohio State and Michigan have pulled off decent seasons too, but both enter the CCHA tournament underdogs against opponents Notre Dame and Miami.

Of course for fans this year's conference tournys will be extra bittersweet. The CCHA folds up shop and the WCHA Frozen Five will never look the same.

And of course it begs us to look forward to next year. In an effort to further hype up next year's "B1G" change in the college hockey landscape, ticket information for the Big Ten Conference championships was released today (decently priced, but c'mon really?).

Earlier this month the Big Ten also released what our favorite six teams will be playing for next year. As everything surrounding Big Ten hockey has been, there are mixed reactions on the futuristic looking trophy. Dubbed simply the Big Ten trophy until a name is decided on, it has fans chattering.

Ultimately conference tournaments mean the Big Ten is up next. We've had two years to become comfortable with it, so the B1G question is: are you?

Follow Jessi Pierce on Twitter at @jessi_pierce and this blog at @B1GIH

Friday, January 25, 2013

The B1G Scoreboard (1/25/13-1/27/13)

Men's Scores From 1/25/13

  • Lake Superior at Ohio State 7:05 ET

  • Michigan at Western Michigan 7:05 ET

  • Minnesota at Minnesota State 7:05 CT

  • Alaska-Anchorage at Wisconsin 7:05 CT

  • Penn State at Michigan State 7:05 ET

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The B1G Scoreboard (1/8/13-1/13/13)

Men's Scores From 1/8/13:

• Bowling Green 5, Michigan 1 —Wolverines dealt CCHA defeat by Bowling Green

• Notre Dame 1, Minnesota 4 — No. 1 Gophers get hot early in 4-1 win over No. 2/3 Notre Dame

Men's Scores From 1/11/13:

• Ohio State 3, Ferris State 1 — Buckeyes post 3-1 win at Ferris State

• Notre Dame 1, Michigan State 0 — Spartan heartbreak once again, 1-0 to Notre Dame

• Alaska 5, Michigan 4 — Comeback effort falls one goal short in loss to Alaska

• Wisconsin 4, Minnesota State 3 OT — Wisconsin upsets No. 11 Minnesota State in overtime, 4-3

• Alaska-Anchorage 3, Minnesota 4 — Marshall's late goal propels Gophers to 4-3 win over UAA

• U.S. U18 Team 2, Penn State 5 — Lions score 5-2 comeback win against Team USA

Women's Scores From 1/11/13:

• North Dakota 3, Minnesota 6

• Ohio State 1, Wisconsin 4

• Penn State 0, Union 1

Men's Scores From 1/12/13:

• Ohio State 1, Ferris State 3 — Buckeyes fall to Ferris State, 3-1

• Notre Dame 1, Michigan State 4 — Spartans knock off No. 2 Notre Dame, 4-1

• Alaska 4, Michigan 1 — U-M draws short straw in battle of power plays against Alaska

• Wisconsin 2, Minnesota State 1 OT — Ramage the hero again as Badgers win 2-1 in overtime at Minnesota State

• Alaska-Anchorage 1, Minnesota 7 — Rau's first hat trick gives Minnesota 7-1 win, sweep over UAA

• U.S. U18 Team 3, Penn State 0 — Men's hockey splits weekend series with 3-0 loss to Team USA

Women's Scores From 1/12/13:

North Dakota 3, Minnesota 6

• Ohio State 1, Wisconsin 2

• Penn State 1, Union 2

Thursday, January 3, 2013

1° Below Freezing: Quick Hits In B1G Hockey

By Jessi Pierce

Happy New Year folks. For most of our Big Ten teams, 2013 means not just a new year, but hope for a turnaround on the season at its halfway point. Here's what's happening with our favorite teams and players.

° U-S-A! U-S-A! — In case you weren't awake at 4 a.m. this morning to check in on the World Junior Championship tournament rivalry match-up between Team USA and Canada in Ufa, Germany, well, you missed quite a lot. University of Wisconsin stud and the U.S. National Junior Team's Captain, Jake McCabe notched two past USA's hockey foes in a 5-1 romping to advance the red, white and blue to the gold medal game on Saturday. Team USA's roster boasts not only McCabe, but includes Jacob Trouba (University of Michigan) and Mike Reilly (University of Minnesota) representing Big Ten teams. Here is what United States of Hockey's Chris Peters had to say about each of their play in the big win Thursday morning.

"Jake McCabe — Team USA’s captain was named the player of the game and he deserves it. A force at both ends of the ice, his two goals in the first period set the tone for the game and allowed the U.S. to take control. Both goals were aided by net-front presence and screens, but McCabe’s shot was on the money on both occasions. Those were two high-pressure goals and the captain delivered. McCabe as also terrific in his own end, shutting down opposing forwards and aiding the transition with good up-ice passing."

"Jacob Trouba — Trouba brought some physicality, but he also showed off the skill that has made him the tournament’s top-scoring defender. He very well could end up as the directorate award winner for the tournament’s best defenseman with the way he’s played. Trouba has been the most consistent guy from start to finish for the Americans and has affected the game at both ends of the ice. His development over the last two years has been something else."

"Mike Reilly — Reilly deserves a lot of credit for his role on Team USA’s first goal. He helped spark the transition to get players down ice and then earned an assist by getting the puck near the net and following the play. He’s an offensively gifted player and he has been able to show that a lot more the last three games."

I couldn't agree more with Peters' assessment on not only those three players, but all of Team USA's performance throughout the tournament and this morning; especially goaltender John Gibson who shut down the Canadians in all three periods of play. Take a peek at some of the highlights and see for yourself.

° Gophers back on top — After completely handling former USCHO No. 1 and defending national champions, Boston College in the Mariucci Classic last Sunday with an 8-1 score, the Minnesota Gophers find themselves in the No. 1 spot before heading into arguably a much tougher second half of the season. Upcoming contests with Notre Dame, North Dakota, Denver and St. Cloud State among other teams will be a test for the maroon and gold, but after witnessing the depth of each line this past weekend, I see Minnesota holding tight to that top spot for a few weeks yet. Interesting note, Minnesota is the only Big Ten team to be ranked in this week's USCHO poll. More on that below. 

° Michigan's Treais suspended one game — In another holiday tournament, Michigan and Michigan State battled it out in the CCHA's Great Lakes Invitational third place game, possibly a bit too physical. Wolverines captain and senior forward A.J. Treais was handed a one game suspension following Michigan's win over the Spartans for what the CCHA said was Treais' contact to MSU's Matt DeBlouw's head. Here is what the CCHA said in an official release:

"Senior forward A.J. Treais of the University of Michigan has been suspended for one (1) game. The action was taken by the league after a review of an incident that occurred near the 17:28 mark of the third period in a game against Michigan State and resulted in the player receiving major and game misconduct penalties for Contact to the Head."

The suspension will cause Treais to miss Michigan's next regular season game against Bowling Green on Jan. 8 but will be eligible to play against the NTDP in exhibition Friday. One game isn't all that bad — and to be honest neither was the hit, definitely not intentional head to head contact — but the Wolverines need all they can to pick themselves up heading into the second half of their schedule.

° Big Ten struggles continue — Not only do the Gophers garner the No. 1 spot in the nation, but Minnesota is the only Big Ten team above .500 this regular season with a 13-3-3 record overall. Ohio State holds a 7-8-5 record, Penn State is at 8-9, Michigan is holding a 7-10-2 record, Michigan State going 5-11-3 and Wisconsin rounding out the pack with a grim 4-7-5 record.

Time still remains in the season to turn some things around for all the teams, but it doesn't exactly speak well for the Big Ten hockey conference. For more on the break down, check out Roman Augustoviz column in the Star Tribune.