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Hockey Series Preview: Ohio State Buckeyes at. No. 9 Michigan Wolverines

The Wolverines are still trying to find some consistency.

COLLEGE HOCKEY: FEB 01 Ohio State at Michigan Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Michigan could not have gotten January off to a better start, killing Michigan State 9-0 last Friday night. Unfortunately, the team took a tough loss on Saturday despite being up with under three minutes remaining. These two games are pretty representative of the season so far, showing the team’s immense potential but also capturing its inability to consistently win.

Perhaps appropriately, the Wolverines maintain their top-10 spot in the polls, indicating that this is still a dangerous team despite its record. However, now is really the time to start collecting some positive results with exactly half of the schedule having been completed by the end of this weekend.

Series Info & How to Watch

Teams: Ohio State Buckeyes (4-7-1, 13 pts) at No. 9 Michigan Wolverines (6-6-0, 11 pts)
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Game 1: Friday, Jan. 15, 7:00 pm ET — BTN+
Game 2: Saturday, Jan. 16, 7:00 pm ET — Big Ten Network

Ohio State did not come into the year with huge expectations, and that is about how the season has played out. Though the Buckeyes do hold a two-point advantage over Michigan in the standings, it is difficult to see how they have much room for improvement; they have a negative-seven goal differential thus far and are second from the bottom in goals in the league (only ahead of the Spartans).

For Michigan, 9-0 wins are obviously not sustainable, but this is more along the lines of what the team should be expected to produce. With so much NHL talent on the roster, as well as double-digit game experience for most of the newcomers now, the excuses are running out for the mediocre results that have ailed the maize and blue thus far.

The Wolverines had a chance to set the tone against a rival and nearly did so before letting Saturday’s game slip away. This series represents another shot to take it to an inferior opponent and use the rivalry to fuel a charge into the latter half of the season. Michigan is still loaded with potential, but sitting in fifth place in the Big Ten standings is not acceptable any longer.