Three things: Gophers seniors, Michigan’s power play and the standings

Happy Oscar Sunday (for those who don’t know, I’m freakishly into awards shows for some unknown reason). Now that the show is over and I’ve composed myself after Leo went another year without winning best actor, let’s take a look at what happened in the Big Ten this weekend.

1. Minnesota’s seniors shine on Saturday 

I personally feel that the senior night angle is over blown by media and fans in most instances. It’s an easy storyline and coaches love to talk about players who have dedicated four years to a program.

That being said, that fact that Minnesota beat Penn State on Saturday thanks to a backup goaltender playing in his second game of the season and a forward scoring his third goal of the season is pretty cool.

Head coach Don Lucia gave senior Michael Shibrowski the nod in net on Saturday. Shibrowski responded with 26 saves in the Gophers’ 2-1 victory over Penn State. Fellow senior Tom Serratore got the game-winning goal for Minnesota. Travis Boyd scored the Gophers’ first goal.

Minnesota also defeated Penn State 5-1 on Friday and extended its lead to seven points over idle Wisconsin.

2. Michigan’s special teams were truly special on Saturday

After tying Ohio State at home on Friday night and falling in a shootout, Michigan took advantage on having the extra man on Sunday on its way to a 4-3 victory. The Wolverines netted three goals on the power play on Sunday.

“I feel fortunate that we won the game tonight,” Michigan head coach Red Berenson said. “Our goalie had to play well, and we got a couple of bounces here and there. The game the other night was a tough one to lose at home, but you’ve got to give Ohio State credit; they played really well.”

In the four games played between the two teams this year, Michigan is 3-0-1. All three wins for the Wolverines over the Buckeyes have been by one goal.

3. The race

Here’s how the Big Ten Standings currently look:

1. Minnesota — 38 points
2. Wisconsin — 31
3. Michigan — 27
4. Ohio State — 22
5. Michigan State — 19
6. Penn State — 7

And here’s the remaining series that each team has left:

Minnesota — Ohio State and Michigan on the road.
Wisconsin — Penn State and Michigan State on the road.
Michigan — Home-and-home with Michigan State and Minnesota at home.
Ohio State — Minnesota at home and Penn State on the road.
Michigan State — Home-and-home with Michigan and Wisconsin at home.
Penn State — Wisconsin and Ohio State at home.

For what it’s worth, this is how I think the final standings will look. There’s isn’t much moving around.

1. Minnesota — 45 points
2. Wisconsin — 43
3. Michigan — 36
4. Ohio State — 30
5. Michigan State — 19
6. Penn State — 7

(Note: I forgot to add a shootout point for Ohio State earlier, it was pointed out in the comments. Thank you volunteer editors)