Last weekend could have been better for the Big Ten. At the same time, the weekend of non-conference play could have gone worse.
Gopher growing pains in shutout loss to Vermont
Minnesota struggled to get any offense as Catamounts goalie Mike Santaguida made 24 saves. Mario Puskarich scored twice for Vermont in the United States Hall of Fame Game.
It wasn't the best opening weekend for a conference that would like to show last season was a fluke and pick up more non-conference wins. Some expectations were exceeded. Others stayed the course. There weren't, thoroughbreds playing like donkeys.
Only Michigan State defeated a team from outside Atlantic Hockey.
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-Michigan was idle.
-Michigan State went 1-0-1 representing the conference at the Ice Breaker Tournament. The Spartans tied host Maine 3-3 on freshman defenseman Zach Osburn's second goal of the night. Osburn scored late with the extra attacker. The next afternoon MSU defeated Lake Superior State 4-1 thanks to two goals by MacKenzie MacEachern and 29 saves by Jake Hildebrand.
Read Jeff Cox's recap of Saturday's game here. Click here for Jeremy Dewar's optimistic take over at The Only Colors. Unfortunately the injury situation doesn't sound like it is getting better for the Spartans.
-Minnesota lost 3-0 to Vermont in the United States Hall of Fame Game. The Gophers were unable to figure out a way to beat Vermont's defensive shell. Mario Puskarich scored twice for the Catamounts to ruin Minnesota goalie Eric Schierhorn's collegiate debut.
Danny over at The Daily Gopher wrote about the lack of chemistry.
-Ohio State was swept by Bowling Green. The Falcons, who nearly made the NCAA Tournament a year ago, handed OSU a 6-3 opening night loss Friday before Chris Neil shut out the Buckeyes in a 2-0 win.
-Penn State soundly defeated Canisius on the road 6-1 in the Nittany Lions' only game of the weekend. Curtis Loik quickly got his senior season on the right track with three points (1G-2A) in the opening 14 minutes. David Glen scored twice Saturday.
Chris Taylor from Black Shoe Diaries has his take on the win.
-Wisconsin is undefeated after week one, tying Northern Michigan twice at home.
Both times the Badgers came back to tie the game, which can be encouraging depending on viewpoint. (At the very least, it's more encouraging than the announced attendance for both.) Grant Besse got the tying goal on Friday. Freshman and 2016 NHL Draft Eligible forward Luke Kunin completed a three goal third period comeback Saturday with his first collegiate goal.
Nathan Wells is a college hockey columnist for SB Nation mostly covering both the University of Minnesota and Big Ten. You can also follow him on Twitter -- Follow @gopherstate