Friday, May 22, 2015

The Big Ten in the Biggest Moments

There’s only one thing that can bring out hockey sweaters in the warm months of May and June – it’s Stanley Cup playoff time. Plenty of familiar names don the ice in the conference finals of this year’s quest for the Cup. But the Big Ten has been represented long before the conference even came to be. Here’s a look at some of the best playoff performers to come out of Big Ten schools.

(Editor’s Note: We’re aware that these players were not in the Big Ten Hockey Conference at the time that they played... just go with it and enjoy!)

Friday, March 27, 2015

Let's Party: My NCAA picks and take on Minnesota's chances

By Miles McQuinn

The end of March into April has to be my favorite time of year. The daily grind of college courses start winding down, mother nature is in a happier mood (for most parts of the nation anyway) and hockey takes center stage across the nation.

This time of year signals playoff and tourney time. tourney time. With the NCAA hockey tournament kicking off today, I say let the real "March Madness" begin.

Like basketball, filling out a bracket is a must. Last year my bracket wasn't too pretty with the exception of my Big Ten picks which were spot on (covering them throughout the season educated me well).

This year we only have one B1G team making the big dance. Will the Gophers represent well? There's potential but getting past Jack Eichel and the BU crew will be a true test.

So without further adieu, here is who I have hanging a banner in 2015.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Blame Game: Where does the real blame lie when it comes to attendance?

By Jessi Pierce

Another tournament has come and gone. Unfortunately the same couldn't be said for the fans. Empty seats once again lined the rows at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. As I watched from home I couldn't help but notice the emptiness. It was almost a glaring distraction from the on-ice action.

It's sad when the topic of conversation switches from the hard work of the teams to the attendance -- or lack thereof. Players worked hard all season to be celebrated at a conference tournament, only to have few more than mom and dad in the crowd.

"You get to this time of the year, and you want to play in front of good crowds," Gopher head coach Don Lucia told the Detroit Free Press. "Doesn't matter if they're cheering for you or against you. It's kind of what you're used to all season long."

But the more pressing issue isn't just the lack of attendance, it's the question of why. Why do fans continue to remove themselves from conference tournaments? Where has the passion gone and will it come back?

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Here Lies: Michigan's 2014-15 Season

In the championship battle of the U of M's, we all knew one must ultimately fall. Saturday night at the Joe it was the boys in blue who gave in as No. 3 Michigan was done in by No. 1 Minnesota, 4-2.

Overall it was a successful season for Michigan. The Maize and Blue had an unreal offense, quick and high-scoring. The charge was led by Zach Hyman, Andrew Copp and Dylan Larkin. Hyman had 58 points on the season and was named to the All-Tournament team after leading all players in scoring over the weekend with five points.

Hyman and company were the storyline for Michigan this season. They absolutely dominated, leading the conference with 143 goals during the season.

But the Gophers rallied behind their own dominating offense. Minnesota managed to pepper Wolverine goaltender State Racine with 20 shots in the first period along -- a season-high shots allowed for Michigan.

It's a tough way to go out, but Red Berenson knows how to reload. I wouldn't be surprised to see Michigan in the championship game in 2016 -- maybe this time they take home the hardware.


Friday, March 20, 2015

Here Lies: Michigan State's 2014-15 Season

If there's a way to go down that clenches the chest, it's at the hands of your instate rival. The pride of your state, in your state. Michigan State fell to Michigan, 4-1 at the Joe.

Michigan State without question has one of the top goalies in the nation in Jake Hildebrand. Without a doubt he deserves the lion's share of the credit for the Spartans successes this season. Without him, MSU would not have won half the games they did. In Friday night's match-up they allowed four goals for just the ninth time all season.

Michigan's offense figured it out and was too strong of a match.

Still I give credit to Sparty. They had a decent year, earning the No. 2 seed in the weekend's tournament -- though their 17-16-2 might not suggest it.

On the bright side, Hildebrand is only a junior. He will return for next year. Let's just hope MSU's offense helps him out more on the other end of the ice.