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Conference Per Game Scoring Averages

The regular season is done in every league except the Big Ten, who has six games remaining on their conference schedule this weekend. Out of curiosity, I decided to look up how many goals were being scored in each conference game. The numbers ended up being pretty interesting, and were worth a share.

Here's the average number of goals in each conference game by conference:

Big Ten-- 7.17 goals per game

NCHC-- 5.71 goals per game

Atlantic Hockey-- 5.62 goals per game

Hockey East-- 5.53 goals per game

ECAC-- 5.08 goals per game

WCHA--4.97 goals per game

For the sake of comparison, the average NHL game has had 5.38 goals per game up to this point in the season.

The most noteworthy of the above might be just how astronomical the Big Ten's number is. All six Big Ten conference games this weekend could end in 0-0 ties and they would still be at 6.35 goals per game, more than half a goal per game above the next highest conference. They would have to combine to score -89 goals this weekend to match the WCHA's per game average.

It's no surprise that leading the way for the Big Ten is Michigan's prolific offense. The Wolverines average 5.22 goals per conference game, meaning they're scoring more than the average conference game in the ECAC or WCHA.

It's not just the Wolverines though. Or perhaps it is the Wolverines matching lack of defensive acumen that sees goals up around the rest of the conference. Ohio State is averaging 4.00 goals per conference game, joining Michigan, Robert Morris, Boston College, and St. Cloud State as the only teams to average 4.00+ goals per conference game. A large part of that is owed to the 24 goals they scored in just four games against Michigan this season.

Even moribund Wisconsin is averaging 2.72 goals per conference game, which isn't good, but would still rank in the top half of the ECAC(5th) and WCHA(4th) in scoring.

On the other end of the spectrum is the WCHA, home of the 1-1 tie. Dipping below five goals per conference game is an ugly number. If there's any positive, it's that that number actually grew in the second half of the season, as they were closer to 4.75 midway through the year. It's an issue the league seriously needs to look at addressing, however, because the ultra-conservative style of play in the league only serves to drive fans away from the game, and that's certainly not something the league can afford to do.