We're coming down to the home stretch of the first ever Big Ten hockey season, with just four games remaining for all teams and seeds 2-5 still not entirely settled. Due to the incredible Big Ten scheduling, these two rivals will faceoff with both student bodies gone on Spring Break, which means there will most likely be atmosphere lacking (though this season MSU has played UM better in dead environments).
In last weekend's action the Wolverines took 4 of 6 from OSU, losing in a shootout Friday while taking three points Sunday at Nationwide in Columbus.
The Spartans lost in OT to some highly skilled high schoolers 4-3.
Both teams find themselves in a tough spot as far as the standings are concerned. OSU and Wisconsin each have Penn State left, and since the Nittany Lions have only picked up points against teams from Michigan, let's assume a six point bump for both teams leaving the following situation.
UW- 37 pts with 2 at MSU
OSU- 28 pts with 2 at MN
UM- 27 pts with 2 vs MSU, 2 vs MN
MSU- 19 pts with 2 vs UM, 2 vs UW
With this scenario, both teams need a sweep this weekend to even have a shot at their seed. It's probably not too likely the way the Gophers are playing to expect OSU to come out of Minneapolis with anything more than 2 points, so UM could get by with a split this weekend for 3rd, but they really want that 2nd seed for the bye, in which case they need a sweep and then help from MSU against the Badgers, and need to take care of business at Yost against Minny. For the Spartans, they've locked themselves into playing the first day but with some help from the Gophers both weekends could end up with the third seed against PSU. Most likely we'll be lucky to get five points over the next two weeks, so we'll probably end up with a five seed playing OSU like everyone predicted since last season ended.