The B1G currently has three teams ranked in the top 20: #2 Minnesota (12-2-2; 3-0-1), #3 Michigan (10-2-2; 2-0), and #15 Wisconsin (8-5-1; 2-2). Here's how the rest of the league is doing...
Team/Rank (as of 12/6)
Minnesota and Michigan are clearly at the head of the pack, and Wisconsin is coming on strong. After splitting the series against the Miami Redhawks (9-7-2) and getting swept by the Gophers, Wisconsin has won four in a row. However, those four wins have come against Penn State and Colorado College (2-12-3). I was at the UW/CC game on Friday, and will say that I liked the Badgers' intensity--especially during the fight in what I remember as the third period, but I could be mistaken. It was the penalty kill during the 5-on-3 that really brought the crowd to their feet. Badgers game recaps can be read here and here. Wisconsin will face Alabama-Huntsville (1-15-0) at the Kohl Center on December 27th.
Although Michigan State lost the second game in the series with the Gophers, the Spartans were able to tie the Gophers in game #1 and win the shootout 1-0. You can read a recap of the series at The Only Colors. Sparty then lost to Ferris State 2-0. State will now face Michigan Tech (6-9-5) in the Great Lakes Invitational.
The Gophers will next take on Colgate (7-9-2) as part of the Mariucci Classic. The game will be at 7:00 p.m. on January 3rd. They then head to State College to face the Nittany Lions on January 12.
After sweeping the hated Ohio State Buckeyes, Michigan dropped their exhibition game against the U.S. NTDP 5-4 in OT. The Wolverines were then able to tie/win the shootout against the Ferris State Bulldogs. Michigan next faces Western Michigan (7-8-3) on December 27th in Detroit for the Great Lakes Invitational. The Buckeyes face Mercyhurst on December 28th.
And bringing up the rear is Penn State. The Lions most recently were swept by the Badgers on December 6 and 7. Penn State next faces Robert Morris (2-10-2) on December 27th. Although I watched only a part of one of their games with the Badgers, it's hard to see Penn State gaining any ground once the conference slate really starts. Starting with Minnesota won't help at all.
Stay tuned for Brad's continuing Michigan hockey coverage and my B1G hockey coverage.