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2014-15 Big Ten Hockey Predictions

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Who makes the tournament, who improves, who regresses?

Minnesota forward Taylor Cammarata (13)
Minnesota forward Taylor Cammarata (13)
Matt Christians

A couple weeks ago we released the SB Nation Preseason Poll and First, Second and All-Rookie Teams from a plethora of Big Ten writers, radio and TV people. The same group (for the most part) also gave a single prediction as to what would happen in the conference. None are nonsensical. Jet planes piloted by a bear burning down buildings will not be among these predictions.

That's not to say all are easy. No one is clairvoyant or putting money down on the accuracy, however, there are some bold choices.

Still, the predictions are anonymous and go to show the variety of play to the point where a couple contradict one another.

Predictions:

Michigan will win the B1G tournament in Detroit. By the end of the season the Wolverines will be playing the best hockey of anyone in the league and it will show.

The Gophers will clinch the Big Ten Regular Season Championship the last weekend of Feb at home against Michigan State.

Wisconsin senior forward Brad Navin will at least double his career goal total (8) this season with an increased offensive role for the Badgers.

In contrasting predictions:

Two teams or less make the NCAA tournament out of the Big Ten this season.

Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin are the Big Ten's representatives in the NCAA Tournament.

Minnesota will win the Frozen Four but will not appear in the Big Ten title game.

Minnesota will win the Big Ten tournament.

More predictions:

Christian Frey will show his high save % wasn't a fluke while Adam Wilcox comes back down to earth with a lower save % than Frey.

Penn State will upset Michigan in Ann Arbor in November to win their first Big Ten game, three months before they won their first conference game last season.

Ohio State makes up for its overtime loss to Wisconsin last year and wins the Big Ten Tournament.

Michigan will be a much better team than last year and will make the NCAA tourney.

A detailed, two paragraph prediction: Penn State does not finish last in the conference regular season. They finish in front of Michigan State because the Spartan's final four weeks of the season are brutal: at Wisconsin, at Minnesota, Wisconsin, home-and-home with Michigan. MSU collapses down the stretch.

PSU's final four weeks are not much easier: Minnesota, at Ohio State, Michigan, at Minnesota. However, Ohio State is toothless without Ryan Dzingel and the Nittany Lions pick up some points on the road in Columbus. They win one of their games at home against Michigan, and that's how they squeak ahead of MSU.

As for mine? I have two. Michigan State surprises people and Minnesota forward Taylor Cammarata comes close to 20 goals.

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Nathan Wells is a college hockey columnist for SB Nation. You can also follow him on Twitter --