The men's team is off, resting up and preparing for a showdown with Michigan next week. The ladies are in action this week, though. They close out their season at the Ice Rink with a big series against a tough but beatable opponent in shorthanded No. 7 North Dakota.
Your lady Bucks close out their 2013-14 campaign this weekend by hosting the seventh ranked North Dakota Team That Seriously Needs a Nickname or Something. UND has a fairly solid grasp on third place in the WCHA, but their at large status for the NCAA tournament is less secure. They'll have plenty to play for this week.
There's a lot on the line for Ohio State as well. They currently hold a slim three point lead on Bemidji State for fifth spot in the conference. A big series for the Buckeyes this week would mean a trip to Minnesota-Duluth in the WCHA tournament. While that wouldn't be any picnic it may be a more winnable series than facing North Dakota on home ice and with their full complement of players.
The...North Dakota has been three ladies short for their last couple series as sophomore Tanja Eisenschmid, senior Michelle Karvinen, and freshman Susanna Tapani have been representing their respective countries at the Olympics. The team has struggled in their absence.
UND is 1-2-1-0 in their last four games. They hit a low point last week when they were swept at home by Minnesota State. It was just the second time this season North Dakota failed to earn any conference points in a series.
Goals have been a little hard to come by with two of their top five scorers, Karvinen and Tapani, in Sochi. UND still has enough firepower to require the total concentration of Ohio State's defenders. Junior Josefine Jakobsen (13-18--31) averages better than a point-per-game and sophomore Meghan Dufault (10-14--24) is just shy of that. Dufault also leads the WCHA in shorthanded goals (3).
That's a stat of which Buckeye fans should be aware as OSU had some trouble when shorthanded at Bemidji last week. Fans should also be aware that victories for the home team this week are very possible. Ohio State has already defeated North Dakota once this season, splitting a series in Grand Forks way back in October.
Here's the lowdown on this week's promotions. Double Trouble night sounds interesting. As always, admission to Buckeye women's hockey games is 100% free. Per Ohio State's series preview the team's six seniors, Chelsea Knapp, Annie Svedin, Becky Allis, Madison Marcotte, Ally Tarr, and Lisa Steffes will be honored following Saturday's game.
Minnesota wrapped up the regular season title last week. Wisconsin is set in second place as well. North Dakota is all but a lock for third. They only need to earn one point against Ohio State this week to guarantee their spot, though it isn't particularly likely that Duluth will sweep the Gophers. Ohio State and Bemidji battle it out for fifth and sixth. Minnesota State is technically still alive for those spots too, but may find it tough to make up points playing the Badgers this week.
|No. 1 Minnesota||24||1||1||0||73||vs UMD|
|No. 2 Wisconsin||19||5||2||1||60||at MSU|
|No. 7 North Dakota||14||8||4||2||48||at OSU|
|Ohio State||7||14||5||1||27||vs UND|
|Bemidji State||7||17||2||1||24||at STC|
|Minnesota State||7||18||1||0||22||vs UW|
|St. Cloud||3||20||3||2||14||vs BSU|
- We have a winner in Ohio State's Design a Goalie Mask contest!
- Ally Tarr earned an honorable mention for WCHA Offensive Player of the Week for her efforts vs. Bemidji State.
- Via Nate Handrahan on Twitter, check out this neat video featuring Handrahan, Julia McKinnon, and Ohio State's engineering wizards talking hockey sticks.
Here's the missing "art" from Tuesday's post. Justin DaSilva has had quite enough of Wisconsin's roughhousing.
Nick Oddo, Tyler Lundey, and Darik Angeli help put together a win.
Ryan Dzingel scoops up point number 100.
- Hey, that number four guy looks familiar...
- Ryan Evans speculates about what an all-amateur Team USA would have looked like in Sochi this year. Spoiler alert, his roster includes Ryan Dzingel and Powell native Jason Binkley.
- Season tickets for the 2014-15 season go on sale Monday, March 3rd. Why should you become a STH? Dzingel says so.
- Ohio State also posted this season ticket information which includes a bit of a sneak peak at next year's home schedule. In addition to the Big Ten teams Buckeye fans will see in state foes Miami and Bowling Green as well as one of my favorite NCAA logos, the Providence Friars.
- Jashvina Shah previews this week's Big Ten action for CHN. and takes a closer look at Michigan State freshmen Thomas Ebbing and Mackenzie MacEachern.
- Drew Claussen and Paula Weston made their weekly conference predictions for USCHO.
- Ryan Lambert's Second Thoughts earlier this week included a refutation of Andy Murray's claim that the NCHC is the "best college conference" as well as a recap of the week in the Western half of the NCAA.
The Buckeyes are going to lose some ground this week, but that just is what it is. Michigan will be without Michael Downing and Andrew Sinelli tonight as the two serve their single game suspensions. Wisconsin has a huge opportunity to make a run at Minnesota, though I'm sure Jake Hildebrand will have something to say about that.
|Big ten||w||l||t||sow||pts||this week|
|No. 1 Minnesota||10||2||2||0||32||Bye|
|No. 8 Wisconsin||8||5||1||0||25||vs MSU (Friday at 9:00 pm on BTN)|
|No. 10 Michigan||6||5||1||1||20||vs PSU (Friday at 6:30 pm on BTN)|
|Michigan State||3||5||6||4||19||at UW (Saturday at 5:00 pm on ESPNU)|
|Penn State||1||10||1||0||4||at MCH|