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Mittens’ Mitten Roundup – College Hockey, Week 24

You know what’s great about these articles? We go as the teams go. And as it stands now, four teams are still alive and well heading into this weekend.

We saw two more casualties this past weekend: Ferris State (14-23-1) and Michigan State (12-22-2). The former WCHA 6-seed Bulldogs were bounced by 3-seed and No. 17 nationally-ranked Bowling Green in a series sweep, ending their season. Big Ten 7-seed MSU endured the same fate, getting swept by 2-seed and No. 6 overall Ohio State in Columbus.

As for the remaining quartet of mitten-made hockey teams left standing, three are attempting to repeat what they accomplished last week, survive and advance, while the fourth begins their postseason run towards a league crown.

[Click here to view our Week 23 roundup]

MICHIGAN WOLVERINES

RECAP: Michigan (20-13-3) extended what is now a streak of seven straight wins, following a first-round sweep at home against the 6-seed Badgers of Wisconsin. There was no shortage of scoring at Yost either, as the two teams combined for 22 goals in the two games played.

UP NEXT: Based on how the three first-round series in the Big Ten played out, all of the higher-seeded teams won their respective matchups. That means top-seeded Notre Dame will play the lowest seed remaining, which is Penn State. That also means we have ourselves a Michigan-Ohio State showdown in Columbus.

The Wolverines dropped all four games to OSU (23-8-5) this season, getting outscored by the Buckeyes 17-6 in those four games. Ohio State has owned the all-time series as of late, going 9-4-1 in the last 14 tilts, dating back to February of 2015.

A friendly reminder that the semifinals and championship rounds are a single-game format, versus the best-of-three format that was applied for the first round.

PLAYER TO WATCH: It’s been a bit of a roller coaster campaign for sophomore goaltender Hayden Lavigne. He’s been the recipient of all seven wins during Michigan’s current winning streak, but it’s largely due to the fact that the Wolverines have been lighting the lamp at an alarming rate.

Lavigne over his last for games has allowed three or more goals, 15 total in that span. In the four games prior, just five goals allowed. The four before that? 16. And the four before THAT? Six. See what I’m getting at?

SCHEDULE: Saturday, March 10 @ TBD

BROADCAST: Big Ten Network | MGoBlueTV | 1050 AM WTKA

MICHIGAN TECH HUSKIES

RECAP: Michigan Tech (19-15-5) needed just two games to oust 4-seed Bemidji State, in what was officially an upset with the Huskies being the 5-seed. It was the third time in five games that Tech had scored five goals, and first time doing it consecutively since Thanksgiving.

UP NEXT: Now the Huskies face arguably their toughest slate yet, making another trip out to Mankato to play the WCHA top seed and No. 3 nationally-ranked Minnesota State (28-7-1). You won’t find too many teams hotter than the Mavericks, who have not suffered a loss in regulation or overtime since January 12, a span of 14 games.

These two played just one series this year, waaaayy back in late October just before Halloween. MSU swept that series, scoring eight total goals against the Huskies. This will be a rematch of a semifinals matchup from a year ago, which ended with Tech surviving in three games en route to a tournament title and spot in the 16-team NCAA Tournament field.

PLAYER TO WATCH: Junior Jake Jackson (alliteration much?) was one of nine goal scorers for Michigan Tech against Bemidji State, giving him 10 on the year to match his mark from a year ago. Jackson was also one of three who potted goals in the lone meeting with Minnesota State earlier this season, scoring twice in a 5-3 loss.

SCHEDULE:

  • Game 1: 03.09 | 8:07 p.m. ET
  • Game 2: 03.10 | 8:07 p.m. ET
  • Game 3: 03.11 | 8:07 p.m. ET (if nec.)

BROADCAST: WCHA.tv | 93.5 FM WKMJ | Pasty.net

NORTHERN MICHIGAN WILDCATS

RECAP: Northern Michigan (23-13-3) needed the full allotted number of games required to take care of Alabama-Huntsville last weekend at home, certainly living up to the “survive and advance” mentality that thrives during this time of year. The Game 2 loss to the Chargers was just the third home defeat for NMU this season.

UP NEXT: The Wildcats look to keep their tournament hopes alive when they welcome in the aforementioned Falcons of Bowling Green (22-10-6) to Marquette for the other WCHA semifinal series. In the lone meeting of the year between these two schools, Northern swept BGSU at home, which ultimately jump-started a seven-game win streak at the time for NMU.

PLAYER TO WATCH: Junior Troy Loggins really came alive last weekend against Huntsville, lighting the lamp four times and helping on three others across the three games played. It was a performance that earned him offensive player of the week honors in the conference. Loggins has had prior success against BGSU as well, scoring three goals in two games against them earlier this season.

SCHEDULE:

  • Game 1: 03.09 | 7:07 p.m. ET
  • Game 2: 03.10 | 7:07 p.m. ET
  • Game 3: 03.11 | 7:07 p.m. ET (if nec.)

BROADCAST: WCHA.tv | 100.3 FM WUPT

WESTERN MICHIGAN BRONCOS

RECAP: We highlighted last week that Western Michigan (15-17-2) had an outside chance to receive a first-round series at home. Unfortunately, the dominoes did not fall in favor of the Broncos. They split with Colorado College, which ultimately gives them the 6-seed heading into this weekend’s NCHC Tournament.

UP NEXT: WMU will be facing a considerable uphill battle if they want to make it consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances for the first time since 2011-12. Standing in their way to start is the 3-seed and No. 8 nationally-ranked Bulldogs of Minnesota-Duluth (19-14-3), who are the defending conference tournament champions and were the national runner-up a season ago.

Western Michigan is 1-3 against Duluth this year. The Bulldogs took down the Broncos in the NCHC semifinals last season. WMU this year is just 5-10 away from Kalamazoo.

PLAYER TO WATCH: Freshman Josh Passolt scored his eighth goal of the year against C.C. last week and assisted on two others, giving him 11 points on the season. Half of his goals have come in the last 11 games for Western. Passolt also has a goal against Duluth this year.

SCHEDULE:

  • Game 1: 03.09 | 8:07 p.m. ET
  • Game 2: 03.10 | 8:07 p.m. ET
  • Game 3: 03.11 | 8:07 p.m. ET (if nec.)

BROADCAST: NCHC.tv | 96.5 FM WZOX

Written by Alex Muller

MSU Graduate. Just a city boy born and raised in south Detroit. Baseball is life, a pitcher at heart. Freelance writer for MIPrepZone (News-Herald, Press & Guide).

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