BIG TEN MEDAL OF HONOR 100TH ANNIVERSARY SPOTLIGHT – Michigan’s Carl Hagelin: Before opening a successful career with the New York Rangers of the National Hockey League, Hagelin stood out both on the ice and in the classroom. He was awarded the Big Ten Medal of Honor in 2011, the same year that he was named a second-team All-America selection. Hagelin was also a three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree while pursuing a degree in sport management. Hagelin was selected to represent Sweden at the upcoming XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
Where We Rank: Minnesota remains No. 1 in both national polls and has held the top spot in one or both polls every week since Oct. 21. The Gophers have posted their best record through 24 games since 2006-07, when the team was 19-2-3 en route to the NCAA West Regional Final. Last weekend Minnesota claimed the inaugural North Star College Cup at Xcel Energy Center with a 4-1 victory over No. 5 St. Cloud State followed by a 4-4 tie and shootout win against Minnesota Duluth. Wisconsin, which split with Ohio State at the Kohl Center last weekend, remained at No. 9 in both polls for the third consecutive week. The Badgers will visit Michigan this weekend, which climbed two spots to No. 12 in both polls following a sweep of Michigan State. The Wolverines defeated the Spartans 2-1 Thursday at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit in the rivals’ 50th meeting at the home of the Detroit Red Wings and completed the sweep with a 5-2 win Friday at Munn Arena. Ohio State is receiving votes in the USCHO.com poll for the 11th consecutive week.
On the Air: Four of this weekend’s six conference games will be carried live on national television. Friday marks the fourth of eight consecutive “Frozen Friday” doubleheaders on BTN. This week’s contests include Wisconsin at Michigan at 6:30 p.m. ET, and Michigan State at Minnesota at 9 p.m. Saturday will also feature a pair of nationally televised games, with Penn State at Ohio State on ESPNEWS at 2 p.m. ET and the series finale between Michigan and Wisconsin on NBCSN at 6:30 p.m.
Gone Streaking: Entering play this weekend, the Gophers are riding their longest unbeaten streak in more than seven years. Minnesota has not lost since Nov. 24, going 9-0-3 over the past 12 games. The streak is Minnesota’s longest since a 22-game unbeaten streak in the 2006-07 season during which the Gophers went 19-0-3. The longest unbeaten streak by a Big Ten school is 23 games. The mark has been posted three times, most recently by Michigan State in 2000-01.
Lighting the Lamp: Buoyed by three of the nation’s top eight offenses, Big Ten teams are averaging a national-best 3.06 goals per game this season, well ahead of the national average of 2.82 goals per game. The Gophers, who rank second nationally with 3.83 goals per game, have scored four or more goals in 14 of their 24 games this season. The Buckeyes and Badgers are tied for fifth in the nation in scoring at 3.50 goals per game. Ohio State has scored four or more goals in 10 of their 22 contests while Wisconsin leads all Big Ten teams in conference play with 3.62 goals per contest.
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 of Michigan State, Phil Kessel, Paul Martin and Blake Wheeler from Minnesota, Ryan Kesler of Ohio State and Ryan McDonagh, Joe Pavelski, Derek Stepan and Ryan Suter from Wisconsin. In addition, former Badger Tony Granato will serve as an assistant coach of the U.S. squad. Brian Lebler from Michigan and Thomas Vanek of 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.
On Sale Now: Tickets for the inaugural Big Ten Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament Presented by Polaris RZR®, slated for March 20-22 at Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, Minn., are currently on sale. Ticket packages can be purchased at the Xcel Energy Center Box Office, Ticketmaster Ticket Centers or online at www.ticketmaster.com. The tournament will feature all six teams in a single-elimination format.