Big Ten Hockey Tournament Release - Championship Game


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Big Ten Hockey Tournament Central

• The 2018 Big Ten Hockey Tournament concludes on Saturday with Notre Dame hosting Ohio State in the championship game at 8 p.m. ET on BTN. The top-seeded Fighting Irish reached the championship game by defeating No. 4 seed Penn State 3-2 last Saturday, while the second-seeded Buckeyes topped No. 3 seed Michigan 3-2 in overtime.

• Both the Fighting Irish and Buckeyes are seeking their first Big Ten Tournament title. The Buckeyes have reached the championship game for the second time overall and the first time since 2014, when they fell to Wisconsin in overtime, 5-4. Notre Dame is in its first season as a sport affiliate member of the Big Ten.

• Either Notre Dame or Ohio State will become the fifth different school to win the Big Ten Tournament in its five years of existence. Wisconsin claimed the inaugural tournament crown in 2014, while Minnesota (2015), Michigan (2016) and Penn State (2017) have since claimed tournament titles.

• Over the last five years, Ohio State is the only school to have won at least one game in the Big Ten Tournament each season. The Buckeyes lead all schools with eight Big Ten Tournament wins over that span.

• Notre Dame's Cale Morris has been named one of the 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award, presented annually to college hockey's top player. Morris leads the nation with a .946 save percentage and is tied for the national lead with 23 victories. The Hobey Hat Trick (three finalists) will be announced on March 29 and the Hobey Baker Award winner will be announced on April 6 during the NCAA Frozen Four.

• Morris and Ohio State's Sean Romeo were named among the 10 semifinalists for the 2018 Mike Richter Award, which honors the most outstanding goaltender in NCAA men’s hockey. The five finalists for the fifth annual award will be announced on March 22, with the winner presented on April 6 at the 2018 NCAA Men’s Frozen Four in St. Paul, Minn.

• Ohio State enters the contest tied for the second-longest unbeaten streak in the nation at six games. The Buckeyes have gone 5-0-1 since February 17.

• Ohio State and Notre Dame currently rank No. 1 and No. 2 in the nation, respectively, on the penalty kill. The Buckeyes have stopped 89.9 percent of opponent opportunities (116-129), while the Fighting Irish have thwarted opponents' chances 88.5 percent of the time (100-113).

• Ohio State and Notre Dame currently rank in the top 10 nationally in scoring defense. The Buckeyes are fourth nationally and pace all Big Ten teams by allowing just 2.08 goals per game, while the Fighting Irish are eighth at 2.17.

• The Big Ten Conference announced the hockey All-Big Ten teams and individual award winners on Tuesday as selected by the conference’s coaches and a media panel. Notre Dame’s Cale Morris was named Big Ten Player and Goaltender of the Year, while Ohio State’s Steve Rohlik was selected as the Coach of the Year. Penn State’s Trevor Hamilton was tabbed the Defensive Player of the Year, which is awarded to a defenseman or forward. Michigan State’s Mitchell Lewandowski collected Freshman of the Year laurels, while Michigan’s Cooper Marody claimed the scoring title with 27 points in 24 conference games. The full list of honorees can be found on Page 3.

• 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.