Big Ten Weekly Hockey Release

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• Six teams take this ice this week in a trio of conference series, highlighted by a top-10 matchup between No. 6/6 Ohio State and No. 10/9 Minnesota in Minneapolis. Five games will be carried live on linear networks and can be streamed nation-wide via the web, smartphones, tablets and connected devices on BTN2Go or WatchESPN.

• With a 2-1 victory over Ohio State on Feb. 9, Notre Dame clinched the outright Big Ten Championship. In addition to their first Big Ten regular-season crown, the Fighting Irish secured the No. 1 seed and accompanying first-round bye in the upcoming Big Ten Tournament.

• Ohio State remains in second place with 37 points, five more than third-place Michigan. Minnesota sits three points behind Michigan in fourth place and currently holds the final home ice spot for the first-round, best-of-three series in the Big Ten Tournament. The Gophers have two games in hand on Michigan, with the Wolverines closing out their Big Ten slate this weekend.

• Wisconsin and Penn State remain alive in the race for home ice in the first round of the tournament. Wisconsin is fifth with 28 points, while Penn State is sixth with 25 points. The Badgers are idle this weekend.

• 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.

• As the top-seeded team, Notre Dame 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.

• Minnesota goalie Matt Robson stopped 61 of the 64 shots he faced for a .953 save percentage in a series sweep of Wisconsin last weekend at the Kohl Center. Over the last five games, Robson leads all Big Ten goalies with four wins, a .942 save percentage and a 1.59 goals-against average.

• Ohio State continues to lead the nation on the penalty kill, stopping 90.4 percent of opponent opportunities (104-of-115). The Buckeyes are the only team above 90 percent nationally.

• Notre Dame and Ohio State currently rank in the top 10 nationally in scoring defense. The Fighting Irish rank third nationally and pace all Big Ten teams by allowing just 2.07 goals per game, while the Buckeyes check in at No. 6 at 2.17.

• The men's hockey tournament at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games opened this week with seven players from Big Ten schools representing their countries on the ice, including three each for the United States and Canada and one for South Korea. Chad Kolarik from Michigan, Jim Slater from Michigan State and Ryan Stoa from Minnesota are skating for the U.S., while Michigan's Andrew Ebbett and Wisconsin's Rene Bourque and Cody Goloubef are representing Canada. Michigan State's Brock Radunske is playing for South Korea.

• Five former players at Big Ten schools are behind the bench at the Olympics. Current Wisconsin head coach Tony Granato is leading the U.S. team and is joined by fellow Badger Chris Chelios. Former Ohio State player Matt McIlvane is serving as an assistant coach for Germany, while former Gophers Robb Stauber (head coach) and Brett Strot (assistant coach) are guiding the U.S. women's hockey team.

• Big Ten official Fraser McIntyre is also on the ice in PyeongChang, where he is serving as a linesman.