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The Face-Off Tackle Empire: Sweeps of #1, Shootouts, and Historic Wins

The week that was.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

First of all, let's check the up to date standings.

Minnesota 26 12 8 2 2 0 31 20 28 19 4 5 97 55
Wisconsin 22 12 7 4 1 0 36 28 26 16 8 2 84 67
20 10 6 3 1 1 31 28 24 14 7 3 69 56
Ohio State
17 12 4 5 3 2 35 31 26 14 9 3 91 69
Michigan State
14 12 2 5 5 3 23 27 27 8 13 6 59 63
Penn State
3 10 1 9 0 0 20 42 24 5 18 1 55 93

Okay folks, this one will be short and sweet, since most of my time at work has been wasted streaming the winter Olympics, and there is a lot more time to waste.

Last weeks action in the B1G was maybe the best we've seen so far, and it was a good chance for everyone to gain a little ground on the Gophers, who up until last Thursday looked like they were running away with the conference. Now? Well, this may not be the case anymore. Let's review.

Minnesota @ Wisconsin.:

This two game series started on Thursday night at The Kohl Center, and while Wisconsin is known to play well at home, taking down the #1 Gophers was a tall task. Wisconsin played a bend but not break style, while being very defensively responsible. (I mean who doesn't like wet noodle defensive hockey, right?) They pretty much plugged up the middle as much as they could and skated to a 2-1 win, handing the Gophers their first conference loss.

Looking for revenge the next night, Friday, again myself and most thought Minnesota would come out guns a blazin' and exact revenge. Again, it was not to be, Wisconsin put up another great fight and again skated to a 2-1 victory leaving hockey fans and Gophers alike wide eyed with surprise, leaving the door open for someone to possibly reel them in.

Ohio State @ Michigan State:

This two game series was as close as you could get. MSU looked to be cruising to a 2-0 win on Friday, but in frantic and dramatic fashion it was not meant to be. OSU grabbed a goal back with 1:34 left in the game, a consolation goal? Not quite. They kept pressing and tied it up with 2 seconds left in regulation, wow! The overtime period solved nothing so off to a shootout we went. Previous to this, MSU was 3-0 in shootouts this season, but the Buckeyes solving goalie Jake Hildebrand and won the shootout. It was thrilling stuff!

Game 2 took much the same shape,.OSU struck first, only to let MSU take a 2-1 lead into the 3rd period. It wasn't as dramatic as the night before, but OSU tied it up in the middle of the period and eventually sent the game to overtime. Overtime came and went, leading to yet another shootout and another shootout victory for OSU. Those extra two points for OSU in East Lansing were good for them, as they along with MSU, Wisky and Michigan are all jockeying for position to grab one of two first round byes in the B1G tournament.

Michigan @ Penn State:

Michigan headed into Hockey Valley playing some very good hockey in their previous couple of games, and jumped out to a 2-0 lead at the first break. With what must have been a good room talk from coach Guy, PSU came out and quickly tied it up in the 2nd, and we all thought we had a game on our hands. Then the wheels fell off. Michigan smartened up and really started to play their game. At about that point, they started piling up goals quickly. PSU started a bit of good old fashioned goonery and sat in the box for a good portion of the remainder of the game and lost 7-3 in regulation. Thanks to poster EZgame for updates on that one, it was much appreciated.

Saturday was a different story, with many giving PSU little chance of pulling out a victory because of the result the night before. Before the game, things didn't look good for the Nittany Lions. I guess the players in the room said SCREW THAT! They came out hard and fast and scored 3 in the first period, and they did not let down at all the rest of the game and potted one more into Michigan's net in the third. Goalie Matthew Skoff turned away all 32 shots he faced to blank Michigan for only their second time this season. PSU won their first conference game, and it feels great, FROZEN FOUR here we come!!!! :)

Who wants to watch Olympic repeats of action that happened hours and hours before? Plus I am holding out for a B1G Luge Conference anyway!

And what Gentleman doesn't sit and watch hockey with his better half on Valentines day?

Join us here on Friday for this weeks featured games.

MSU @ PSU Friday Feb 14, 6:30pm. TV: BTN

Michigan @ Minnesota Friday Feb 14, 9:00pm. TV: BTN