BIG TEN MEDAL OF HONOR 100TH ANNIVERSARY SPOTLIGHT - Michigan State's Robert Jasson: Jasson, who earned the Big Ten Medal of Honor in 1958, tallied 34 points from the blue line between 1955-56 and 1957-58. Named the team's Most Valuable Player at the conclusion of the 1956-57 campaign, Jasson helped lead the Spartans to their first winning record in program history in 1957-58. A native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Jasson was a two-year captain for Michigan State, wearing the "C" in 1956-57 and 1957-58. He was just the second two-year captain in program history.
Where We Rank: Minnesota holds the top spot in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll for the 10th consecutive week, claiming all 34 first-place votes. The Gophers are also No. 1 in the latest
USCHO.com poll. Minnesota posted a win and a tie at the Mariucci Classic last weekend. Michigan, which was idle this past weekend, checks in at No. 8/9. The Wolverines' next opponent, Wisconsin, finds itself at No. 14 in both polls. The Badgers recorded a series split with Alaska Anchorage last weekend at the Kohl Center. Ohio State, which was idle last weekend, is receiving votes in the USCHO.com poll for the eighth consecutive week.
On the Air: Friday night marks the start of "Frozen Friday" doubleheaders on BTN. For eight consecutive weeks, BTN will carry conference matchups at 6:30 and 9 p.m. ET. This Friday's contests include Michigan State at Ohio State at 6:30 p.m., and Michigan at Wisconsin at 9 p.m. In all, more than one-half of the 60 conference games will appear on national television this season, as 31 60 Big Ten clashes are slated to air on BTN, ESPNU, ESPNEWS and NBCSN. In all, BTN will carry 20 regular season conference games, while ESPNEWS and NBCSN will each broadcast four and ESPNU will carry three.
Going for Gold: Fourteen players from Big Ten schools have been named to rosters for the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. Ten players earned spots on the U.S. roster, including 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. Brian Lebler from Michigan and Thomas Vanek from Minnesota were each named to the Austrian team, Carl Hagelin from Michigan will skate for Sweden and former Spartan Duncan Keith will look to help Canada defend its gold medal from 2010. The men's hockey tournament will begin on Feb. 12 with the gold medal game scheduled for Feb. 23.
Century Mark: With his assist on Friday's game-tying goal against Colgate, Minnesota forward Kyle Rau notched his 100th career point. He went on to add a pair of goals in Saturday's 6-2 victory over Rensselaer, giving him 102 points (38 goals, 64 assists) in 98 career games. Rau becomes the third active Big Ten player to reach the 100-point plateau, joining Wisconsin forwards Mark Zengerle (138 points in 132 games) and Michael Mersch (104 points in 138 games), who reached the milestone on Dec. 14 against Colorado College. Rau is the 80th Gopher to reach 100 career points and the third since 2006.
Lighting the Lamp: With three of the nation's top 10 offenses, it should come as no surprise that the Big Ten leads all conferences in scoring. Big Ten teams average 3.21 goals per game, well ahead of the national average of 2.83 goals per game. No other conference averages more than 3.00 goals per contest.
Conference Play Overview: The Big Ten schedule is a 20-game slate with each team playing the other five members four times. Shootouts will be utilized to decide conference games that remain tied following the conclusion of the five-minute overtime period. Each team will select three players with teams alternating shots. If the shootout remains tied at the end of three rounds, each team will select a different shooter in a sudden-death situation. Points in the regular season Big Ten standings will be awarded as follows: three points for a regulation or overtime win, two points for a shootout win, one point for a shootout loss and no points for a regulation or overtime loss.
On Sale Now: Tickets for the inaugural Big Ten Men's Ice Hockey Tournament, slated for March 20-22 at Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, Minn., are on sale. Ticket packages can be purchased at the Xcel Energy Center Box Office, Ticketmaster Ticket Centers or online at www.ticketmaster.com.