Rankings going into the weekend, and records coming out...
NSCC: Minnesota faces St. Cloud State and UMD
Minnesota ventured outside of the Big Ten to play St. Cloud State (13-5-4) in the inaugural North Star College Cup at the Excel Energy Center in St. Paul. Although this wasn't an important conference match-up for Minnesota, St. Cloud was ranked #5 heading into the game and still posed a threat. Minnesota scored first on a PP goal by Travis Boyd (assist by Hudson Fasching) at 8:58 in the first period. SCSU followed up with a goal of their own at 11:22 of the second frame after Minnesota goalie Adam Wilcox lost his balance and Jonny Brodzinski hacked at the puck until it went in. The Gophers' Nate Condon put his team in the lead at 14:24 and Minnesota never looked back, finishing the 4-1 rout on goals by Hudson Fasching and Seth Ambroz. Netminder Adam Wilcox saved a career-high 38 shots.
The NSCC Championship pitted the maroon and gold versus...maroon and gold, as Minnesota took on the University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs (10-9-3). The Bulldogs played the Gophers tough and took Minnesota to a 4-4 tie at the end of regulation. Scoring for the teams was done by Minnesota's Kyle Rau, Nate Condon, Hudson Fasching, and Travis Boyd. The Bulldogs were led by Austin Farley (two goals), Caleb Herbert, and Joe Basaraba. The story of the game may be the ejection of Minnesota's Ben Marshall who was called for a hit to the head of UMD's Austin Farley. Marshall received a 5-minute major, and Farley was able to return in the third period and tally his second goal of the game. The Gophers took the game in a 2-0 shootout win, but it will go in the record books as a tie.
Next for Minnesota: Michigan State--1/31 9:00 Eastern on BTN and 2/1 8:00 Eastern on FSN Plus.
Wisconsin splits Ohio State (W 5-3, L 3-1)
The Badgers and the Buckeyes are becoming quite the rivalry on the football field, and it's now growing into a pretty big rivalry in other sports as well. Madison has become yet another town in the B1G that hates the Buckeyes, and Wisconsin was able to take care of the Buckeyes with a 5-3 win on Friday night. Jake McCabe got the Badgers on the board first, just 2:20 into the first period. Ohio State knotted the game at one a piece off a Ryan Dzingel shot that was deflected past the right side of UW netminder Joel Rumpel. The Badgers were then put in a 2-1 hole by OSU forward Nick Schilkey getting through some traffic and finally Rumpel. Wisconsin was then able to go on a three-goal run to finish out the second period and start the third, taking a 4-2 lead that Ohio State was unable to overcome (not through lack of effort, though, as OSU's David Gust got the Buckeyes to within one at 17:33 in the third). The Badgers' Joe Labate sealed the win on a power play goal with about 90 seconds to go.
Saturday's match-up was in front of the most people yet this season (15,021) and the most since 2010. Although Wisconsin was able to get on the board first on a Mark Zengerle score mid-way through the second period, Ohio State rattled off three goals off the sticks of Nick Schilkey, Nick Oddo, and Darik Angeli for the 3-1 victory. The Badgers' loss was just their second loss at home; they are now still an imposing 13-2-1 at the Kohl Center. Whether it's on the ice or on the court, the Kohl Center is one tough place to play.
Next for the Badgers: at Michigan--1/31 6:30 Eastern on BTN and 2/1 6:30 Eastern on NBC Sports.
Next for the Buckeyes: Penn State--1/31 7:05 Eastern and 2/1 2:00 Eastern on ESPNews
Penn State drops a one-off against No. 2 Boston College
Although the Nittany Lions aren't getting much as far as wins, they are competing hard and shouldn't necessarily be overlooked. Not getting blown out by the second-ranked team in the country, and scoring the first shorthanded goal against the Eagles all season, shows a toughness that could lead to good things down the road. (It should be pointed out that PSU likes to shoot...a lot, and from anywhere). Here are some highlights...
Aside from the struggles on the ice, one Penn State player has done something more important off the ice than the team could do on it. Good job, young man, good job.
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