The comforts of home

This weekend in the Big Ten, it was clear that home was a good place to be. For the most part.

1. Penn State can do no wrong.

The Nittany Lions continue to roll along and roll over visiting opponents in the friendly confines of Pegula Arena. Penn State extended its win streak to nine games and its unbeaten streak to 11 with a pair of home wins over Arizona State, 7-4 and 8-0. As the scores indicate, the Nittany Lions did more than win; Penn State continues to dominate offensively, averaging 4.77 goals per game to top the nation. PSU has been at home for its last eight games, and in those contests the Nittany Lions have outscored opponents 42-13. Eight different Nittany Lions scored in their 8-0 win Saturday. Penn State takes Thanksgiving weekend off before concluding this 10-game home stand against Michigan in the opening weekend of Big Ten play Dec. 1-2.

2. Minnesota splits with Minnesota State.

The Golden Gophers dropped their Friday road game against the Mavericks, 4-1, but salvaged the split on the weekend with their 1-0 home win Saturday, giving Minnesota a 2-1-1 home record for the season while playing an arguably tougher schedule than Penn State has enjoyed. The Gophers have a home win and tie against ranked North Dakota, a road tie against ranked St. Lawrence, and two one-goal losses to ranked St. Cloud in an early home-and-home series. While other teams in the Big Ten are seeing success with big freshmen classes, the Golden Gophers are relying on seasoned players with their more experienced team. Senior Justin Kloos had the only goal in Saturday’s win, and sophomore Eric Schierhorn made 23 saves in his sixth career shutout, his third of the season.

3. Home and away, the Big Ten continues to be strong.

Big Ten teams went 6-2-0 against opponents on the weekend, increasing the league’s record in inter-conference play to 38-19-8 for a win percentage of .646, which now leads all D-I conferences — for this moment, at least. Ohio State swept Rensselaer on the road, 4-0 and 3-2, extending the Buckeyes’ unbeaten streak to five games (3-0-2). Incidentally, Ohio State is right behind Penn State in goals per game, averaging 4.38. Wisconsin improved its overall record to 6-4-0 with a home split against Merrimack, a 3-2 win and 2-0 loss. Penn State, Ohio State and Minnesota are all currently teams under consideration in the early PairWise Rankings, with Wisconsin sitting at No. 21.


  1. Did you forget the rest of the rollercoaster ride??   Cornell and Clakrson played as did SLU and Dartmouth.   Saint Lawrence had a very entertaining two games aginst Merrimak and Dartmouth and won two shootout, the first going 9 rounds before Chris Martin won it for the Saints.     Not a mention??

    • Weekend review blogs are in a “three things we learned” format, so I had to pick my spots. Nate Owen is writing this week’s column, so he should have plenty of good info Wednesday morning.

    • exactly…there were more teams playing then just RPI, Brown and Colgate…Clarkson got smoked down in Florida because they could not stay out of the box…112 Penalty minutes combined between them and Maine, not to mention SLU was the only tourney title winner…

  2. Karpowich didn’t play last weekend. How can you leverage Smith over him based on a weekend where he was out with the flu?

  3. The guy that worte this weeks article sucks…How can you pick a team such as Brown?  Big deal they beat Yale, who is yesterday’s news, not to mention prolly their only quality win is over UNH….Maybe you missed the fact that the only ECAC team to come home with a tourney title was St. Lawrence who also did it in fine form with 2 shootout wins….Not even a mention

      • im not angry but i feel respect should be given where it’s earned…Who cares about RPI and their dismal season…The fact of the matter is they brag up teams like Yale and Brown like they are the best in the conference…I feel that the only good thing about these 3 teams was the part about Colgate…

        • Don’t forget the series win, 1-0-1, on the road at Notre Dame. Check out how many Big Ten teams, including ND, are in the top 20 PairWise!

          • Yes they are, starting next season. I added them so that people understand how talented the Big Ten is, so that they stop pretending because it is new that it is weak.

          • So 1/3 of the conference, at your estimation? That sounds good. But your ‘clump 6’ is looking kind of silly. MSU is struggling, the other 6, including ND, are solid hockey teams. The name calling was apt last year, this year it is not.

          • The ugly helmets have not joined the league yet, so dont count them. Once they do join, they’ll be pulled down to the crap level of that conference. I bet they’re lining up the cupcake nonconference schedule as we speak. And what are you basing “solid” teams off of? Their record so far? I’d hope any team that had as easy of schedules as this conference has would win games. Goof U is the highest, per the RPI page, with a SOS of 9. Everyone else? 18th and lower. Go ahead and glad hand them, though, for beating up on those cupcakes.

          • Everyone knows that that the big joke clump 6 conference never wins any games. The only team that is really good in college hockey is North Dakota. North Dakota never loses — they are ranked 0 in the pairwise because they are soo good.

          • For comparison….every NCHC team has had a harder schedule than everyone in the clump 6, with the exception of CC and Miami, which sit 16 and 10, respectively. So all 8 NCHC teams in the top 16.

          • Everyone knows the Clump 6 Big Joke conference is terrible …no team from that conference has ever been any good, and none of them will ever beat the Fighting Sioux Hawks.

          • Posted this four days ago. Still applies.

            “The golden domers are now #16 in the PWR/RPI and one game better than 500, yet I agree the Gdomers are a good, talented team, albeit inconsistent. The remainder, of PSU’s non-conference schedule is weak, sans St. Lawrence.”

          • PSU may be for realz. Based on their schedule to date the sample size, especially against ‘stronger’ teams, is too limited to suggest they are.

      • The Pairwise the ranking I do really love because it is putting my BSU Beavers in a ranking that makes us feel special. But we all know the one we crave is the poll ranking then you are seen as a good team.

      • Take a look at the KRACH, then filter on Strength of schedule (higher # the harder the schedule). For perspective, UMD is at 318, PSU at 106. This is the # that will crush you at tournament time.

  4. Penn State rolls….all while playing teams ranked: 19, 54, 10, 34, 56, 58, and 53. Gee….I hope any team could “do no wrong” with those types of opponents for the 18th hardest schedule…..stop drinking the Kool-Aid Paula.

    • I’m sure it’s upsetting to see a team in their fifth year of D1 having success and becoming a model program in a beautiful arena. Your jealousy is palpable. I don’t expect to see Penn State Hockey win a championship anytime soon, national or B1G, but seeing them be successful is a delight.

      • Move into the top 10 in strength of schedule and get back to us. 4 of the 7 teams played were the bottom 10 teams in the nation. Give yourself a big pat on the back.

      • No, I (for one) want them to have success. I grew up in PA. I just don’t think Ms. Weston is looking at it in the proper context. As a few have noted, PSU has played a cupcake schedule, by and large, and for those using the Pairwise as a mark of success, the sample size is waaaay too small for the rankings to be relevant.

    • Krach says 28th in SOS. Behind powerhouses like Air Force, Bowling Green, and Massachusetts.

      Top 10 in SOS:
      North Dakota
      Notre Dame
      Western Michigan
      Arizona State
      St. Cloud State

    • I am just making the case, but I agree with you that we will see how it goes in the Big Ten. But if PSU was named Michigan or Minnesota, it would have started this year ranked, not unranked. Then as they won, they would have moved up to a voter-ranking similar to the current PairWise (2). And the big thing is, no one would be questioning the voter-ranking of No.2, matching the PairWise, because, you know, they are Michigan or Minnesota.

      Of course there is a lot to play out. But right now, Penn State is one of the best teams in the country. You can say that they aren’t the second-best, fine, but the voters have them at 8. They are probably somewhere in between, which from what I see, is more credit than they are getting.


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