The Big Ten Championship game is just a few short days away, and the Michigan hockey team is looking to win their second Big Ten Championship trophy in a row.
Last Saturday, Michigan hockey defeated the Ohio State Buckeyes in the Semifinal game. The Wolverines dominated the No. 10 ranked Buckeyes from start to finish; the final score was 7-3.
However, this weekend, Michigan has a much tougher matchup on its hands. They will be traveling to Minneapolis to take on the No. 1 ranked Minnesota Gophers, not to mention in a sold-out 3M Arena at Mariucci.
For both teams, this is by far the most important game of the season. Michigan has an overall record of 23-11-3 and a Big Ten record of 12-10-2. On the other side, Minnesota’s season record thus far is 26-8-1, and they are 19-4-1 in conference play.
Michigan is 1-3 against the Gophers this season. But these teams are more evenly matched than the record makes it out to be. In the first series, Michigan was severely depleted due to sickness throughout the team, so much so that Michigan’s third string goalie went into the game as a forward. The second series was split between the teams, with both games going into overtime.
How will Michigan win a Big Ten Championship?
Controlling and limiting Minnesota’s potent offense will be vital to winning the game. Their top line on offense is the best in the country. Matthew Knies, Logan Cooley and Jimmy Snuggerud won’t be easy to contain, but if the Wolverines can, they should be able to win this game.
Not only that, but we saw how successful the Wolverines were last weekend when limiting penalties. Michigan’s biggest weakness is penalties, and if they remain disciplined, they can play their best hockey.
What a Big Ten Championship will mean for Michigan
While both teams are ranked top five in the country, the rankings no longer matter. Their previous records on the season mean nothing now. Whoever wins this game will have ultimate bragging rights until next season, being the reigning Big Ten Tournament champions.
This would be a huge win against an insanely talented team and put the Wolverines in a phenomenal position heading into the NCAA tournament.
Where to Watch
On Saturday, you can watch the Michigan Wolverines play the Minnesota Gophers in the Big Ten Championship. The game will air on Big Ten Network at 8:00 p.m. EST.
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