Big Ten Weekly Hockey Release
Jan. 31, 2018

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• Six teams take this ice this week in a trio of conference series, highlighted by a top-20 matchup between No. 2/2 Notre Dame and No. 17/- Penn State. Three games will be carried on linear networks, with the remaining contests streaming on BTN Plus.

• The 2018 Big Ten Tournament will feature a new three-weekend format with all games taking place on the campus of the higher-seeded teams. The tournament will open March 2-4 with three best-of-three quarterfinal series, as the second-, third- and fourth-seeded teams will each host a series. The top-seeded team will have a bye to the single-elimination semifinals, which are scheduled for Saturday, March 10. The highest-seeded team remaining after the semifinals will host a championship game scheduled for Saturday, March 17.

• Michigan and Penn State are currently tied for fourth place and the final home ice spot for the first-round of the Big Ten Tournament. Third-place Wisconsin is just one point ahead of the two-way tie.

• Ohio State improved to 12-2-2 in its last 16 games with a 5-3 win over Michigan last Saturday, completing the weekend and series sweep. This marks the third time the Buckeyes have swept the season series against Michigan and the first time since the 1985-86 season.

• Notre Dame holds an 11-point advantage over the second-place Buckeyes in the race for the Big Ten Championship and the accompanying first-round bye in the Big Ten Tournament.

• Six Big Ten teams appear in the and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls. Notre Dame paces conference teams at No. 2 in both polls. Ohio State follows at No. 5/6, Minnesota checks in at No. 12/12, while Penn State, Wisconsin and Michigan are No. 17, No. 18 and No. 20 in the poll, respectively, and are all receiving votes in the coaches rankings.

• Since the 2013-14 season, five Big Ten schools (Michigan, Minnesota, Notre Dame, Penn State and Wisconsin) have been ranked in the top five of both the and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls. Those five teams have combined to be ranked in the top five of both polls a total of 82 times, with at least one top-five team in 62 out of 117 weeks.

• Ohio State currently leads the nation on the penalty kill, stopping 90.8 percent of opponent opportunities (89-of-98). The Buckeyes are the only team above 90 percent nationally.

• Notre Dame and Ohio State currently rank in the top five nationally in scoring defense. The Fighting Irish rank third nationally and pace all Big Ten teams by allowing just 1.96 goals per game, while the Buckeyes check in at No. 4 at 2.19.

• Ohio State’s Tanner Laczynski leads the nation and all conference players with 36 points through 26 games. Laczynski also leads the country in assists (24) and shots on goal (111).

• Big Ten teams currently occupy five of the top 25 positions on the national team scoring list. Penn State leads the conference and ranks second nationally with 3.71 goals per game, followed by Wisconsin in 11th (3.24), Michigan in 13th (3.19), Ohio State in 18th (3.12) and Notre Dame in 23rd with 3.04 goals per contest.

• Former Michigan hockey head coach Red Berenson has been named the 2018 Hobey Baker Legends of College Hockey award recipient. The award is presented annually to honor a player, coach or administrator who has made outstanding historic contributions to the sport. Berenson, who retired last March after 33 seasons behind the Michigan bench, will be honored with the award on Wednesday, May 28, 2018, in St. Paul, Minnesota, at the annual Hobey Baker Award Banquet.