It's Hate Week for the hockey team too. Gopher hockey fans hate the Hawkeyes too! It's hard to hate something that doesn't exist, but we do it anyway.
#7 - Iowa Hawkeyes (never won a hockey game ever lol)
In Iowa, Zamboni's are legally required to run on 100% ethanol. You know how in Canada sometimes they paint the red line in the shape of alternating white and red maple leaves? In Iowa they use corn cobs for a pattern, which is awfully hard to read. Instead of an auger on the back of the 'boni, the just pour home made grain alcohol on the ice. I've heard rumblings about your club hockey team. Cute. Let me know when you find a billionaire angel donor who loves Hawkeye sports so much that he twists your administration's arm into giving you a varsity team. Unlikely.
#6 - Wisconsin Badgers (0-4)
Wisconsin's so bad that last week I said they were playing games but in fact they weren't. They get #3 North Dakota at home this weekend [checks schedule, has it right this time]. I'm running out of ways to talk about how bad Wisconsin is at hockey. Here's one: RPI. Wisco's RPI Power is 2, beating out Dartmouth and Harvard, two teams that have played a combined two games (against each other, which ended in a tie). The only reason a four loss Wisconsin beats those two squads is that Wisconsin has played more games and their opponents have more wins. #Math. Congratulations Wisconsin, Michigan is really striving to be worse than you, but can't.
#5 - Michigan Wolverines (2-5)
Will firing their AD result in dramatic changes for the hockey team the way everyone expects it to affect their football program? Now way. If Red Berenson were a fine Napa Valley pinot noir, Brady Hoke is a 12 oz. aluminum can of code red mountain dew. Michigan got embarrassed by Michigan Tech; they were swept out of the UP by a 10-3 score on aggregate. Is anyone clamoring for Berenson's resignation? Of course not. That doesn't mean that Michigan isn't awful so far. They cling to #5 over Wisconsin by the skin of their teeth (I couldn't honestly justify putting them below a team with zero wins. Wisconsin is going to have to get off the schnie to get out of the basement).
#4 - Michigan State Spartans (2-4)
Penn Michigan State hockey: out-shoot Ferris State 36-16, lose 1-0. The next night their offense recovered and they won 4-1, so they appear on this list ahead of the Wolverines. They appear on the list ahead of Wisconsin because they scored more goals in one game than Wisconsin has scored all season [snickers]. Goaltender Jake Hildebrand was the Big Ten #1 star of the week because he only allowed two goals in two games, but he made only 35 saves on the weekend, so he wasn't exactly under siege.
#3 - Ohio State Buckeyes (2-3-1)
The Buckeyes LOVE college hockey so much, and are so interested in building college hockey programs around the country that they descended from
their College Hockey Mount Olympus Columbus to play a series at Canisius (because Steve Rohlik believes in playing small, lousy, programs at the dumpy rinks because he loves the sport, not because his team needs easy wins). Well, the Buckeyes got a little more than they expected on Friday and tied 3-3. They won on Saturday (whoopidee-doo). I technically had to put them on this list somewhere. Here they are.
#2 - Penn State Nittany Lions (5-1-2)
Two weeks at Number 2, Penn State! You took care of business with a couple of 3-2 wins over Bentley, who had just swept RPI in whatever town RPI is located. The Nittany Lions are outscoring their opponents at nearly a 2 to 1 clip, which is a good way to win a lot of hockey games. Penn State is one of two respectable programs in this conference. Period. No snark. What do you think of that, Wisconsin?
#1 - Minnesota Golden Gophers (5-1)
Friday was no-bueno. The Gophers looked flat, SCSU looked like a team possessed on Halloween, much like I thought they would. I would rather lose a game to a very respectable SCSU team than whatever the other teams in this conference are doing (Bentley, Ferris State, Canisius, Michigan State, cowering at home in fear). The biggest disappointment is not the loss on Friday, but the injuries to Brady Skjei and Travis Boyd. Thankfully, early season are not nearly as damaging as late season injuries.
On the bright side, Justin Kloos was awesome in Saturday's victory, and earned a well deserved Big Ten weekly honor as the number two star of the week. He is a sniper, but he also showed the grit to crash the net on his first goal of the night.
Dishonorable Mention: Iowa