Big Ten Weekly Hockey Release
Feb. 21, 2018

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• The regular season draws to a close this weekend as six teams take the ice in a trio of conference series, and Michigan hosts Arizona State in non-conference play. Two games will be carried live on BTN, while the remaining contests can be streamed on BTN Plus and the NBC Sports App.

• The top two seeds for the Big Ten Tournament have been determined as Notre Dame earned the Big Ten Championship and first-round bye on Feb. 9 and Ohio State clinched the No. 2 seed in the tournament. Ohio State will host Michigan State in a quarterfinal best-of-three series next weekend.

• Michigan has also secured home ice and will be the No. 3 or No. 4 seed when the tournament starts next weekend. The Wolverines pace all conference teams with an 8-3-1-1 record in Big Ten play since Jan. 12, including series sweeps of Minnesota, Notre Dame and Penn State.

• Minnesota, Penn State and Wisconsin remain alive in the hunt for the third and final home ice position. The Gophers enter the weekend with a five-point lead over the Nittany Lions and Badgers and need just one point in their series at Penn State to claim home ice.

• 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.

• A trio of goaltenders swept the Big Ten's weekly Three Stars awards this week, as Michigan's Hayden Lavigne (First Star), Minnesota's Mat Robson (Second Star) and Ohio State's Sean Romeo (Third Star) earned honors. This marked the second time in conference history that goalies claimed all three weekly awards and the first time since Nov. 19, 2013.

• Robson has recorded a save percentage of .950 or higher in six of his last seven starts and has allowed one goal or less in five of those seven contests. Since Jan. 20, Robson leads all Big Ten goalies with a .786 winning percentage, .950 save percentage and a 1.40 goals-against average.

• Michigan's Sam Piazza and Notre Dame's Jake Evans have been named among the 10 men's hockey finalists for the 2017-18 Senior CLASS Award. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Senior CLASS Award honors the attributes of senior students in four areas: community, classroom, character and competition.

• Ohio State continues to lead the nation on the penalty kill, stopping 90.7 percent of opponent opportunities (107-of-118). 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 fourth nationally and pace all Big Ten teams by allowing just 2.09 goals per game, while the Buckeyes check in at No. 6 at 2.12.