#6 Penn State Nittany Lions
Oh Penn State, do I nothing thee. The day will come when a sweep against the Nittany Lions will not be a foregone conclusion; but this is not that day. They can’t be blamed for their own futility. They simply are overmatched by almost every team in the country. With the 1 and 2 seeds all but locked by Minnesota and Wisconsin, Michigan and Ohio State are now battling for the privilege of facing Penn State in the first round of the B1G Ten conference tournament… on a Thursday afternoon… Penn State wins this week’s Futile Despair Award.
#5 Michigan State Spartans
Michigan State came into the weekend on the heels of a tough sweep at the hands of Wisconsin. With three weekends left in the regular season, the Spartans scheduled an exhibition game for some reason. STRIKE They used the opportunity to tune up for the stretch run STRIKE They got beaten by a bunch of sixteen and seventeen year olds from Ann Arbor. The Spartans wins the JLP Memorial Face-palm award.
#4 Ohio State Buckeyes
The Buckeyes fell into the classic Friday/Sunday home-and-home trap. They went to Ann Arbor and won (a shootout), but dropped the game in Columbus Sunday afternoon. The Sunday game was a different type of shootout: the teams put 75 shot on net and scored seven goals. Their Achilles Heel is keeping the puck out of their own net. After the weekend, the Buckeyes are officially out of the race for the conference championship. To the Buckeye’s, I bequeath the weekly Thanks For Comin’ Out Award.
Michigan managed to pick up four points on the weekend due to a fast start Sunday afternoon. They’re lucky, because I was running out of plane crash gifs to assign them. Even though they scored four goals in their win, this team is looking more and more fallible with every passing weekend. Most frustrating for Michigan has to be the fact they one can never be sure which team will show up: either the high-flying youngsters who can score or skate with anyone, or the undisciplined kids who do more damage to themselves than the other team. For unpredictable play, seemingly at opposite ends of the spectrum, Michigan wins the first ever Harvey "Two-Face" Dent Award.
Wisconsin was idle. I choose to not write about them. Enjoy this gif expressing my feelings on Wisconsin.
#1 Pride On Ice-
The Gophers handled Penn State well. The Saturday game was close, but never felt in jeopardy. They picked up the six points-in- hand over the reds, and managed to reclaim the #1 ranking in the Pairwise; a good weekend. Four tough road games remain, and the conference championship has not yet been won, but it’s tantalizingly close. Minnesota needs two wins to sew up the inaugural championship. So here’s your Golden Gopher mantra for the week: Victori Spolia, "To the Victor, the Spoils."
Dishonorable Mention: Michael Downing, Michigan
Well, he did it again. Luckily for him, he wasn’t ejected from the game on this hit. Lots of Michigan fans were upset that he was assessed a penalty at all for this hit, so let’s break down all the reasons they are wrong. Here’s the hit in case you didn't see it above.
So let’s see, Downing jumps into the check, which is illegal. His feet clearly leave the ice. That extra height allowed him to plant his elbow right into the player’s face. So let’s see, a flying elbow to the head area, which he was clearly targeting? He might have escaped with a two minute penalty during the game, but considering the nature of the hit, and the fact that Downing is a repeat offender, I have a feeling he’ll be hearing from the league office once again.
Maybe after this suspension he’ll learn, but for some reason I doubt it.