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Hockey Series Preview: No. 7 Michigan Wolverines at Ohio State Buckeyes

A winnable series is on the docket in Columbus.

COLLEGE HOCKEY: JAN 31 Ohio State at Michigan Photo by Steven King/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It would have been great to come out of the Covid pause and sweep the Big Ten leaders — and it certainly looked possible after Saturday — but Michigan still had a productive weekend after splitting with Wisconsin. The Wolverines moved up in the standings and in the poll, which is about all they could ask for after missing three weeks.

Up next is a trip to Columbus against a mediocre Ohio State team. The Buckeyes have a good shot at finishing last in the Big Ten this year and have lost their last five (and eight of nine), with many games not looking very competitive. Six points is the expectation for Michigan against its archrival this weekend.

Series Info & How to Watch

Teams: No. 7 Michigan Wolverines (8-7-1-0, 26 pts) at Ohio State Buckeyes (5-12-0-1, 16 pts)
Location: Columbus, OH
Game 1: Friday, Feb. 19, 5:30 pm ET — BTN Plus
Game 2: Saturday, Feb. 20, 5:30 pm ET — BTN Plus

The first time the two teams met this season was in mid-January, with the Wolverines convincingly sweeping the series 4-2, 5-0 at Yost. The talent gap was very clear, and the only thing that has changed since then is the Michigan layoff. Rust on the maize and blue side is likely the only thing that can help the home team, and that might not even be enough.

Michigan had some strong offensive moments against the Badgers, and any sort of performance along that level should be enough to punish Ohio State, who boasts the worst defense in the conference. The Buckeyes have given up at least five goals in each of their last four games, and this total is well within the realm of possibility this weekend. The Wolverines absolutely must punish inferior teams from here on out.