Michigan (8-9-1, 1-3-0-0 Big Ten), like Minnesota (11-5-2, 3-1-0-0 Big Ten), has spent much of the last month idle. Both teams played a tournament on New Year’s Eve (Mariucci Classic for MN, Great Lakes Invitational for MI) before being off once again last weekend.
This year is different. While Minnesota has rebounded this year and is in position to get back in the tournament,The Wolverines started off the Big Ten conference schedule with three straight losses to Penn State and Wisconsin.
Currently, Michigan sits in fifth place in the Big Ten behind Ohio State and a three-way tie between the Nittany Lions, Badgers and Gophers.
Michigan holds wins over Union and Boston University this season. However, the inconsistency of a young Wolverines team shows in the team having yet to sweep a series. In a Big Ten conference where offense shines, PSU scored 11 goals in 2 wins. Wisconsin was able to score 7 while even Michigan State got 4 on Michigan.
Familiar faces: A pair of defensemen - senior captain Nolan De Jong (#21) and sophomore Nick Boka (#27) - are Minnesota Wild prospects. Another defenseman, junior Sam Piazza (#6), is the brother of Gopher women's hockey forward Cara Piazza.
Alex Kile (#23) scored a hat trick at Mariucci Arena when the two teams played last season.