Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Michigan and Michigan State Faceoff in 2015 Hockey City Classic

Soldier Field will welcome back the Hockey City Classic this February. The outdoor college hockey spotlight will shine on familiar foes Michigan and Michigan State on February 7, 2015 as announced by the Coyote Hockey City Classic group today. Beginning in 2013, the Hockey City Classic has hosted Notre Dame and Miami (2013) and two other Big Ten squads, Minnesota and Ohio State (2014).

These two teams are no strangers to outdoor hockey. The Mitten State rivals first squared off in a game dubbed the "Cold War" in 2001. It will mark the 7th time since then that the Wolverines and Spartans are pitted outdoors.

Check out the 2015 HCC trailer here.

Full release found here

Friday, July 18, 2014

Big Ten Expansion -- What Does It Mean For Hockey?

By Jessi Pierce

On July 1, the Big Ten Conference became home to 14. The University of Maryland and Rutgers are now official Big Ten members, with Johns Hopkins University joining on the men's lacrosse field (that should be interesting for the up and coming Big Ten D1 lacrosse schools...).

It's expansion that is surrounded by money, no doubt. Men's and women's lacrosse will expand into its own inaugural lacrosse season this year, a spot all too familiar for Big Ten hockey teams.

So what could it potentially mean for expansion on the ice? Probably not a whole lot.

Maryland and Rutgers both have men's and women's club teams in place. Rutger's men's team is a Division I American Collegiate Hockey Association team, like Penn State was prior. They also have D2 program. Maryland has D2 and D3 Club teams.

Aside from that, both schools would even the playing field geographically. Penn State is roughly 973 miles from the University of Minnesota, 711 from the University of Wisconsin and 388 from the University of Michigan. But the Nittany Lions have just a 197 mile bus ride to face the Terps in College Park, Md., and 227 to Rutgers in New Jersey.

Despite that, adding these two teams anywhere in the near future wouldn't be beneficial enough to the Big Ten. As we've said before, there are plenty of other schools in the conference that could make a better case for making the Div. I leap.

If I were to bet, Maryland and Rutgers would be on the bottom of the totem pole for having a hockey team. Still something interesting to keep an eye on....

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

23 Big Ten Hockey Athletes Earn Distinguished Scholar Awards

ROSEMONT, Ill. – The Big Ten Conference announced on Wednesday that 683 student-athletes have earned the Big Ten Distinguished Scholar Award. The list includes student-athletes from every institution and 37 different sports who have recorded a minimum grade-point average (GPA) of 3.7 or higher for the previous academic year.
Big Ten Faculty Representatives established the Distinguished Scholar Award in 2008 to supplement the Academic All-Big Ten program. Similar to the Academic All-Big Ten honor, Distinguished Scholar Award recipients must be letterwinners in at least their second academic year at their institution. However, the Distinguished Scholar Award encompasses only student-athletes with a minimum GPA of 3.7 or higher for the previous academic year, excluding summer school. The Academic All-Big Ten threshold is a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher for a student-athlete’s academic career.

Zach Hyman, So., Torono, Ontario, history major
Luke Moffatt, Sr., Paradise Valley, Ariz., business administration major

Monday, June 30, 2014

Stanley Cup Dreams and NHL Hopefuls

Future Wolverine Dylan Larkin was selected 15th overall in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft

Future Pros

The Big Ten was fully represented in Philadelphia June 27 and 28 for the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. In total, 13 current and future Big Ten players were selected. Minnesota's four-chosen players was the third-highest total for any NCAA school with Hockey East's Boston College leading the way. Another interesting note: only two players of the 13 selected were chosen by the same team.

Dylan Larkin
-- Michigan commit 
Defenseman, USNTDP, 1st Rd., (15) by Detroit Red Wings

Joshua Jacobs -- Michigan State commit
Defenseman, USAH Indiana Ice, 2nd Rd., (41) by New Jersey Devils

Ryan Collins -- Minnesota commit
Defenseman, USNTDP, 2nd Rd., (47) by Columbus Blue Jackets

Jack Doughty -- Wisconsin commit
Defenseman, USNTDP, 2nd Rd., (51) by Nashville Predators

Jack Glover -- Minnesota commit
Defenseman, USNTDP, 3rd Rd., (69) by Winnipeg Jets

Thursday, May 22, 2014

2014-15 Schedule Released

Here it is folks. What do you think? The schedule concludes with the 2015 Big Ten Tournament, March 19-25, at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.


Thursday or Friday  Nov. 20 or 21  Michigan State at Ohio State*

Friday or Saturday  Nov. 21 or 22  Michigan State at Ohio State*

Friday  Nov. 21  Penn State at Michigan

Saturday  Nov. 22  Penn State at Michigan

Friday  Dec. 5  Ohio State at Michigan
Friday  Dec. 5  Minnesota at Michigan State
Friday  Dec. 5  Penn State at Wisconsin

Saturday  Dec. 6  Minnesota at Michigan State
Saturday  Dec. 6  Penn State at Wisconsin

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Final Tournament Thoughts

Great Competition, Lacking Crowd

For all the complaints that poured in on Thursday, I think even disappointed fans can agree the competition at the tournament was pretty high. Even in the tournament's opening games overtime was reached with Penn State pushing past Michigan 2-1 in two OTs, and Ohio State advancing by beating Michigan State 2-1 in a single extra frame.

Wisconsin and Penn State opened up Friday competition with another OT and Ohio State made it a game with Minnesota before disappointing local Gopher fans by taking the upset win, 3-1.
On the crowd side of things it was a disappointing turn out. But as the USCO pointed out, NCAA tournaments across the board were down 40 percent this year.

"The total attendance for the two leagues that played in the Twin Cities (the Big Ten in St. Paul, Minn., and the NCHC in Minneapolis) was 59,862 across seven sessions.

In a 13-year run at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, the WCHA Final Five had only one year where the total attendance was lower: 2011, when the tournament had only four sessions instead of the usual five.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Badgers Capture Inaugural Tournament Title

Wisconsin was the prediction at the beginning of the year to win the Big Ten Championship Tournament.

Though they wavered at the beginning of the season, for the second straight year the Badgers hoisted a conference tournament championship trophy around the Xcel Energy Arena.

Ohio State didn't make it easy for them. The Buckeyes had pushed past Michigan State in a 2-1 overtime victory and out-muscled top-seed Minnesota to earn their spot in Saturday's championship bout. Wisconsin earned a bye from the first round and topped Penn State for a shot at the title.

It was anyone's game.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Tourney Talk

It came, it went, and few people noticed. More than likely because the attendance at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn., Thursday barely tipped 4,000 (despite the announced attendance). Penn State, Michigan, Ohio State and Michigan State took to the ice at 2 and 7 respectively. It was a rough draw.

Those watching it on TV noticed the empty seats -- something that is never seen in that building, home to the state high school tournament that draws 19,000+ and the NHL's Minnesota Wild. Hockey fans that snuck out of work to catch a glimpse of Big Ten hockey found themselves able to purchase tickets at an extraordinary low price and move down to the lower bowl freely. Most of them didn't stay to the end, even in a double OT upset win for Penn State over Michigan.

Yes, all in all, the first day of the Big Ten Championship tournament was a B1G disappointment.

As my boss told me all season -- mind you I work in a hockey office -- "I just have no feeling or excitement for this." He won't be going back to the X for the weekend. And like him, many won't be.

Our blog pushes and strives to promote Big Ten hockey. It has for the past two years, seeing the growing potential it has for the sport that we all love. It's a good thing in the grand scheme of college hockey and will take time to adjust. But even we must admit, the same intense passion that has been felt for years in the WCHA and CCHA is now gone. It's a tough pill to swallow for fans who were so loyal to those conferences.

Fans don't flock to the X like they used to on tournament weekend and the local bars are noticeably missing jerseys in the seats.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Wrapping Up The Inaugural Season...Finally

I have to admit, the word 'inaugural' has found itself blacklisted from my vocabulary. The redundancy and overuse of 'the-word-that-shall-not-be-said' this season has taken its toll.

So hang it from the rafters, applaud its retirement, starting next year there will be no more firsts in the Big Ten hockey conference.

That being said, we can now look back on what was accomplished in 'Year One' of Big Ten hockey.

More opinions will of course be decided this weekend. The Big Ten Conference Championship Tournament invades the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn., providing one final measuring stick before we find out where our Big Ten teams land on the national stage.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Does The Shootout Format Win Or Lose?

By Jessi Pierce

Julie "the Cat" Gaffney said it best: "I hate ties, it's like kissing your brother."

Of course shootouts were her thing because of this beauty of a save during the Ducks' Team USA debut.