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Big Ten Hockey Preview: Game Times, TV Schedule, Radio & More

Two conference series are on tap while Wisconsin hosts Eichelmania.

The road leads where it's led. In this case, Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.
The road leads where it's led. In this case, Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.
Nathan Wells

A couple weeks ago marked the midway point between the beginning of the Big Ten season with Media Day and the end of the year with the Big Ten Conference Tournament in Detroit. In the Motor City six roads are born in the shape of half a wheel, going through Detroit before leaving the city limits to go elsewhere. In the Big Ten, six teams have gone on their own paths, trying to make it in the cold, unforgiving sport of ice hockey.

The season is an ongoing road trip, one which is now turning around for the journey back to Joe Louis Arena in March with mostly conference play on the way back.

It's not as if the days of the regular season get counted one at a time, like how Michigan captain Andrew Copp did during the off-season. The anticpation isn't the same. The regular season is there in the foreground, going by one game at a time, mile by mile with the occasional glimpse of a city light shining in the distance.

But on this road back to Detroit the trip through conference play serves as more than a distraction. It's a second life, an opportunity for the Big Ten schools to find the upbeat preseason positive predictions. The road is long. All have seen stumbles and hard time along the journey. None more than Wisconsin, which despite getting its second win of the year against a top Michigan Tech team gets rewarded by playing host to #2 Boston University and Eichelmania.

Fair or not, it's a final nonconference test before the Badgers dip back into the frigid Big Ten waters.

Penn State still has the memories of a last place finish in the 3 Rivers Classic. To get past those stumbles, the Nittany Lions, which by the way lead the Big Ten with 9 points in 4 games (though only PSU and Michigan State have played even 4 conference games), are finally home after two entire months elsewhere to host Ohio State and maintain Patrick Koudys' declaration that Penn State wants to win the conference.

On the other side of the ice the Buckeyes have traded wins and losses; the latest being a win and tie against Meryhurst where Matt Johnson is coming off a four goal weekend. A win or two here against Penn State on the road is exactly what Ohio State needs for stability.

Although Michigan senior Zach Hyman, playing alongside Alex Kile and Dylan Larkin, has become the scorer Red Berenson (a pair of victories away from 800 in his legendary coaching career) was hoping back he would back in September, only in the last few weeks has the defense and goaltending caught up with Steve Racine helping the team to a GLI victory over Michigan Tech and State.

It's going to have to continue. The Wolverines, 8-2-0 in its last 10 games, host Minnesota - a squad, according to captain Kyle Rau, looking to build towards peaking throughout the second half - in a series that features the top two teams in the Big Ten preseason and current Pairwise rankings.

And Michigan State, getting an increase of offense from Michael Ferrantino and Matt Berry, play an exhibition game Friday against the next generation (if you can call them that) at the USNTDP.

It's the start of the journey towards the weekend which truly matters for most teams - the Big Ten Conference tournament and automatic bid that the winner receives.

Friday January 9

Minnesota (10-5-1, 1-0-1-0 Big Ten) @ Michigan (10-7-0, 2-1-0-0 Big Ten) - 5:30 p.m. CT/6:30 p.m. ET

TV: Big Ten Network (Dan Kelly play-by-play, Rob Andringa analyst and Fred Pletsch rinkside)

Radio: 1500 ESPN (Frank Mazzocco play-by-play and Wally Shaver color) (Twin Cities)/IMG Sports Network (Al Randall play-by-play and Bill Trainor analyst) (Ann Arbor)

Stream: BTN2Go

Ohio State (6-9-2, 1-2-0-0 Big Ten) @ Penn State (9-6-2, 3-1-0-0 Big Ten) - 7:00 p.m. ET

TV: American Sports Network (Pennsylvania - check local listings)

Radio: 1460 AM (Columbus)/WRSC 103.1 (State College)

Stream: BTN2Go

Other media: Did you ever want to see Doc Emrick tour Pegula Arena? Good news.

USNTDP @ Michigan State (7-10-1, 1-2-1-1 Big Ten) - 7:00 p.m. ET

TV: Fox Sports Detroit Plus (Matt Sheppard play-by-play and Darren Eliot analyst)

Radio: None

Stream: BTN2Go

Boston University (11-3-3, 7-1-2 Hockey East) @ Wisconsin (2-11-1, 0-2-0-0 Big Ten) - 7:00 p.m. CT

TV: Wisconsin Channel (Paul Braun and Ron Vincent)

Radio: WIBA 1310 AM (Brian Posick play-by-play and Ian Perrin analyst)/Badgersportsnetwork.com

Stream: BTN2Go/wpt.org

Saturday January 10

Ohio State @ Penn State - 2:00 p.m. ET

TV: American Sports Network (Pennsylvania - check local listings)

Radio: 1460 AM (Columbus)/WRSC 103.1 (State College)

Stream: BTN2Go

Minnesota @ Michigan - 3:00 p.m. CT/4:00 p.m. ET

TV: Fox Sports North Plus/Fox Sports Detroit

Radio: 1500 ESPN (Frank Mazzocco play-by-play and Wally Shaver color) (Twin Cities)/IMG Sports Network (Al Randall play-by-play and Bill Trainor analyst) (Ann Arbor)

Stream: BTN2Go

Boston University @ Wisconsin - 7:00 p.m. CT

TV: Wisconsin Channel (Paul Braun and Rob Andringa)

Radio: WIBA 1310 AM (Brian Posick play-by-play and Ian Perrin analyst)/Badgersportsnetwork.com

Stream: BTN2Go/wpt.org