We've got more enticing hockey here in the mitten this week. Without question, the focal point will be a reunion of rivals in the Big Ten, in which one of the two games in the series will take place in downtown Detroit.
Exempt from this week's mitten hockey coverage will be Ferris State (12-19-1) and No. 15 Western Michigan (14-13-1). The Bulldogs were swept at Alaska last weekend, allowing a total of eight goals in the two games, while Western salvaged a split on the road at Miami-OH.
LAKE SUPERIOR STATE LAKERS
RECAP: In the most unlikely of scenarios last weekend, Lake Superior (8-20-4) earned a series sweep on the road at Bemidji State, pitching a pair of shutouts in the process. It's the first time the Lakers have won consecutive regular-season games overall since January 20-21 of last year.
UP NEXT: Can LSSU ride that mini win streak and carry the momentum here down the stretch? On paper, they have a very strong chance to do so this weekend when they make the trek up to Alaska and play the Seawolves (2-22-4) of Anchorage. Despite a dreadful campaign, one of the two wins for Anchorage did come against the Lakers earlier this season.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Junior Anthony Nellis was one of four Lakers who scored against Bemidji, giving him a new career-high of 10 goals this season and making him the second LSSU player this year with double-digit goals score this season. Nellis has scored three of his 10 goals over his last seven games.
SCHEDULE: Friday (02.09) and Saturday (02.10) | 11:07 p.m. ET
BROADCAST: WCHA.tv | 99.5 FM WYSS
MICHIGAN WOLVERINES vs. MI. STATE SPARTANS
RECAP: Both No. 19 Michigan (13-13-2) and Michigan State (10-17-1) split their own series last weekend against ranked foes; Michigan at home against No. 18 Wisconsin and MSU at No. 5 Ohio State. Considering the overall strength of Big Ten hockey, sometimes walking away with a split is a good day at the office.
UP NEXT: The two mitten rivals continue the most played series in college hockey history with their second of two weekend meetings. The first matchup on Friday will take place in East Lansing before the scene shifts to Little Caesars Arena for the latest ‘Duel in the D' showcase. It'll be the first time the event is held at the new venue in downtown Detroit. It'll also be the third year for the hoisting of the ‘Iron D' trophy, which each team has claimed once in prior years.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Michigan junior Cooper Marody, who collected his 10th goal last weekend against Wisconsin to match a career-high, has three goals and six points in three previous matchups this season against the Spartans. And MSU sophomore Logan Lambdin was the team's lone multi-goal scorer last week, totaling three points vs. the Buckeyes. He too has prior success against U-M, scoring twice in the three games against the Wolverines earlier this season.
SCHEDULE: Friday (02.09 – @ MSU) and Saturday (02.10 – @ LCA) | 7:05 p.m. ET
BROADCAST: MGoBlueTV | 1050 AM WKTA (MICH) | Spartan Sports Network | Fox Sports Detroit (Saturday only)
MICHIGAN TECH HUSKIES
RECAP: It was an interesting weekend for Michigan Tech (14-12-5) in terms of extreme results. They allowed seven goals in a losing effort in the opener to No. 14 Bowling Green, following that up with a 4-0 shutout victory against the Falcons. The win did snap a three-game slide for the Huskies.
UP NEXT: Tech will return home this weekend to host the aforementioned Beavers of Bemidji State (14-10-6), who will surely be an angry bunch after getting swept at home against a weaker Lake Superior club this season, failing to score a goal in either game. It's the only meeting of the year between these two conference foes as they fight for position in the league.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Junior Jake Lucchini exploded for three goals and five points last weekend against Bowling Green, including a two-goal, four-point showing in the 4-0 victory against the Falcons. It was the first goals for Lucchini since the Great Lakes Invitational title game back on January 2, ironically also against BGSU. He's now set a new career-high in points (24) and is one goal shy of matching his personal best (11).
SCHEDULE: Friday (02.09) @ 7:07 p.m. ET | Saturday (02.10) @ 5:07 p.m. ET
BROADCAST: WCHA.tv | 93.5 FM WKMJ | Pasty.net
NORTHERN MICHIGAN WILDCATS
RECAP: Continuing with the “split decision” theme in hockey, No. 20 Northern Michigan salvaged such an outcome last weekend on the road against Alabama-Huntsville. It was a series with plenty of scoring, as the two teams combined for 13 goals. The 4-2 loss snapped a seven-game winning streak for the ‘Cats.
UP NEXT: NMU, still hanging on to first place in the WCHA by a single point, returns home to Marquette and welcomes in (briefly) previously mentioned Alaska (11-15-2). The Nanooks swept Ferris at home last week. However, they are just 4-8-1 on the road, whereas Northern has won 10 of 12 at home this season.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Senior Robby Payne was finally able to light the lamp again for Northern last week. One of six different goal scorers for the Wildcats, Payne extended his active career-high with his 18th this year, his first goal since January 5. It was also the first time he collected a point in consecutive games since December 9-15.
SCHEDULE: Friday (02.09) and Saturday (02.10) | 7:07 p.m. ET
BROADCAST: WCHA.tv | 100.3 WUPT