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B1G Hockey: Conference Tourney Thursday Recap and Friday Preview/Open Thread

Ohio State and Michigan advance to the semifinals. Ohio State takes on Conference Champion Minnesota at 4:30/3:30 et/ct while Michigan and Michigan State square off for the 6th time this year in the night cap. Use this for the Open Thread on Friday, I'll try to get another preview/open thread up for Saturday.

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Thursday Recap

Ohio State jumped out to a 2-0 lead against Penn State and never looked back. The Nittany Lions controlled the first 10 or so minutes of the first period but couldn't find the net.  Ohio State didn't have many early chances but found paydirt on two of them.  Penn State cut into the lead halfway through the second but a late goal from pushed the margin back to 2. Neither team scored in the third and Ohio State has a date in the semifinals against Minnesota for the second straight year.  Michigan scored 3 times on greasy goals during the first 2 periods.  Wisconsin potted a goal on a stuff attempt in the third but a Dylan Larking coast-to-coast beauty iced the game.  Larkin's goal came after Michigan killed an extended 2 man advantage. Michigan lit the lamp one more time to win 5-1.

Friday Preview

Ohio State vs Minnesota

Ohio State and Minnesota will face off in the semifinal for the second year in a row.  Last year, the Buckeyes upset the Gophers 3-1 (with an ENG) while being outshot 31-25.  Minnesota didn't need to win the game to secure a number 1 seed.  This year, the Gophers will likely need a win on Friday to clinch a spot in the tournament.  there are a few scenarios where Minnesota can make the NCAAs after losing to OSU but it requires chalk in the other conferences and St. Cloud losing twice.  If Minnesota beats OSU, they have a decent chance at making the NCAAs with a loss to Michigan and an ok chance with a loss to MSU.  OSU needs to win the tournament to make the NCAAs.  KRACH gives the Gophers a 71% chance to win and the Gophers took 9 of 12 in the regular season, outscoring the Buckeyes 16-11.  I think Minnesota comes out and wins but Ohio State gives them a good game.

Michigan vs Michigan State

This will be the 6th meeting of the season between the Michigan Schools.  The teams split in conference and Michigan won the Great Lakes Invitational Championship with Michigan outscoring MSU 13-9 over the 5 games.  KRACH gives the Wolverines a 58.1% chance to win the game.  Michigan State prevented Michigan from winning a share of the B1G title by winning at Yost last Saturday so I think the Wolverines come out looking for revenge and get one step closer to the B1G's auto bid.