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).
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.