Connect with us


Michigan Hockey: Wolverines play 3rd-straight top 10 series this weekend

Will the Michigan hockey team make a jump in the most important part of their season against No. 6 Penn State?



© Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK

After a split series against No. 2 Minnesota, the Michigan Hockey schedule gets more challenging from here. This weekend, 6th-ranked Penn State will travel to Ann Arbor for a Friday and Saturday series against the Michigan Wolverines.

Most of Michigan’s matchups are within the top 10, and most of their opponents are ranked. No game is a walk in the park when you play in the Big Ten. 

In the last series against Penn State, which was in State College, the Wolverines split the series with the Nittany Lions. The first game was a 0-3 loss for the Wolverines, and the second game was an overtime winner, with a final score of 4-3.

While Michigan is ranked in the top 10, they are sixth in the Big Ten race with 18 points. Meanwhile, Penn State is ranked No. 3 in the conference with 27 points.

This Michigan Hockey team needs to make a considerable jump in their game if they want to make a run for the national title.

Get to Know Penn State

Ranked No. 6 in the country, this Penn State is not one to mess with. The Nittany Lions hold an 18-7-1 overall record. They beat No. 1 ranked Michigan earlier in the season, and No. 1 ranked Minnesota. They also have top 20 ranked wins over Notre Dame, Michigan State, Ohio State, and RIT.

Keys to Victory for Michigan Hockey

With the possible loss of top scorer Mackie Samoskevich (13 G, 12 A), other players will have to step up if he does not play this weekend.

A massive problem last weekend in the series against Minnesota was the penalties. The Michigan Hockey Team took 11 penalties that weekend, combining for a total of 23 penalty minutes. Two penalties were significant, and game misconduct on a highly questionable call. That call took Mark Estapa out of the game in the first period.

Limiting penalties against a fast and talented team like Penn State will be vital to winning this game.

Michigan’s defense last weekend was outstanding, considering the extreme talent from Minnesota. However, the offense was lacking. If Michigan wants to sweep this Penn State team, they must play a complete hockey game in every aspect. 

The offense must take advantage of goal-scoring opportunities and consistently take shots on goal. The defense will avoid costly turnovers and block shots whenever possible, significantly helping the goaltender. Erik Portillo must play his best game and not fold under pressure.

This game could be a massive momentum shift for the Wolverines going into the rest of the regular season. If this Michigan Hockey team wants to make it to the Frozen Four and win the Big Ten Championship for the second year in a row, they need to win big games like this. 

Catch the game on Friday at 7:00pm est on Big+ and the game on Saturday at 7:00pm on Big Ten Network.

Thank you for reading Blue by Ninety. For more Michigan Athletics content from Blue by Ninety, follow us on TwitterFacebookand Instagram. You can also subscribe to our YouTube Channel. For feedback, questions, concerns, or to apply for a writing position, please email our Managing Editor at or DM him on Twitter, @CJsWrld_.

Staff Writer for Blue By Ninety. I'm a lifelong Michigan fan from Ohio. I am currently pursuing a degree in Sport Management at Bowling Green State University. My favorite sports to cover are football and hockey!