Big Ten Weekly Hockey Release - Jan. 2
BIG TEN MEDAL OF HONOR 100TH ANNIVERSARY SPOTLIGHT – Michigan’s Jason Botterill: Botterill, who earned the Big Ten Medal of Honor in 1997, tallied 186 points in 150 career games, including 57 points (32 goals, 25 assists) during Michigan’s run to the 1995-96 NCAA title. A three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree, Botterill played in 88 games in the NHL over six seasons. Following the conclusion of his playing career, Botterill returned to Michigan to earn his MBA in 2007. He is currently the Assistant General Manager of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Where We Rank: Minnesota opens 2014 as the No. 1 team in the USCHO.com poll, claiming the top spot for the ninth time in the last 10 weeks. The latest USCHO.com poll was released on Dec. 30 while the next USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll is not scheduled to be released until Jan. 6. Michigan fell to No. 7 in the USCHO.com poll following a pair of losses at the Great Lakes Invitational. Wisconsin, which swept Alabama Huntsville last weekend to extend its winning streak to six games, climbed one spot to No. 13. The Badgers are now 9-0-1 at home this season, marking their best start at home since moving to the Kohl Center in 1998-99. The team’s 6-0-0 mark in December also represented Wisconsin’s first perfect month since February 2000. Ohio State, which swept Mercyhurst last weekend, is receiving votes in the USCHO.com poll for the seventh consecutive week.
Going for Gold: Ten players from Big Ten schools have been named to the 25-man roster for the 2014 U.S. Olympic Men’s Hockey Team. Max Pacioretty from Michigan, Ryan Miller from Michigan State, Phil Kessel, Paul Martin and Blake Wheeler from Minnesota, Ryan Kesler from Ohio State and Ryan McDonagh, Joe Pavelski, Derek Stepan and Ryan Suter from Wisconsin will all have the opportunity to represent the United States Feb. 13-23 in Sochi, Russia. Four current players from Big Ten teams also represented the U.S. at the International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship, leading the U.S. to the quarterfinals. The 2014 U.S. National Junior Team, which was led by Minnesota head coach Don Lucia, included Andrew Copp from Michigan, Hudson Fasching and Brady Skjei from Minnesota and Nic Kerdiles from Wisconsin.