BIG TEN MEDAL OF HONOR 100TH ANNIVERSARY SPOTLIGHT:
This year, the Big Ten is celebrating 100 years of the Big Ten Medal of Honor. The conference's most prestigious award, the Big Ten Medal of Honor was first awarded in 1915 to one student-athlete from the graduating class of each university who had "attained the greatest proficiency in athletics and scholastic work." In the 99 years of the Medal of Honor, over 1,300 student-athletes have earned this distinction, including 27 hockey players. Throughout the course of the season, the conference highlighted previous Big Ten Medal of Honor recipients, featuring some of the legends of the Big Ten who have earned this prominent achievement.
Minnesota Advances to 21st Frozen Four:
Top-seeded Minnesota claimed the West Regional championship on March 30, securing the Gophers' 21st Frozen Four appearance and second in the past three seasons. Minnesota will face fourth-seeded North Dakota in the second semifinal on April 10 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. Minnesota is making its 35th appearance in the NCAA Tournament and third consecutive trip. The Gophers boast a 54-35 record in the tournament, including NCAA titles in 1974, 1976, 1979, 2002 and 2003. This marks Minnesota's fifth trip to the Frozen Four under head coach Don Lucia, who guided the Gophers to their two most recent national championships.
Gophers Well Represented on All-Regional Team:
Five Minnesota players were named to the All-Regional Team from the West Regional. Nate Condon, Justin Kloos, Mike Reilly, Brady Skjei and Adam Wilcox claimed All-Regional honors, with Kloos earning the Most Outstanding Player award. Kloos led all players at the West Regional with three goals, including the game-winning goal in the regional final against St. Cloud State.
Big Ten Standouts:
Three Big Ten hockey standouts were named finalists for major awards. Goalies Adam Wilcox of Minnesota and Joel Rumpel of Wisconsin are finalists for the inaugural Mike Richter Award, which honors the best goaltender in college hockey. Wilcox, Rumpel and Ohio State forward Ryan Dzingel were also among the 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker Award, which is given annually to the top collegiate player. The winners of both awards will be announced at the NCAA Frozen Four in Philadelphia.
Filling the Seats:
Big Ten programs occupied five of the top 10 spots on the national attendance list for the 2013-14 season, including Minnesota (first with 11,553 fans per game), Wisconsin (third, 10,478), Penn State (eighth, 6,011), Michigan (ninth, 5,582) and Michigan State (10th, 5,392). Ohio State checked in at 15th overall with more than 4,500 fans per game. Combined, Big Ten programs welcomed 831,290 fans to their games this season and led all conferences with an average attendance of 7,357 fans per game.
With his pair of victories at the West Regional, Minnesota head coach Don Lucia notched his 650th career win. Currently in his 15th season leading the Gophers, Lucia boasts a career record of 650-342-94 during his time at Alaska, Colorado College and Minnesota for a career winning percentage of .642. His record at Minnesota stands at 371-188-65 (.650 winning percentage).
Big Ten on the Air: Big Ten hockey has featured a robust slate of television coverage this season, with 84 televised games during the regular season and Big Ten Tournament, including a national package of 40 games airing on BTN, ESPNU, ESPNEWS and NBCSN. BTN aired a total of 28 games, including all five games from the 2014 Big Ten Men's Ice Hockey Tournament. ESPNU and ESPNEWS aired an additional seven contests, while NBCSN presented five games this season on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra.
The Century Mark:
With four points at the West Regional, Minnesota senior captain Nate Condon increased his career point total to 102. Condon joined Kyle Rau as the only two current Gophers in the century club as Rau enters the Frozen Four with 120 career points.
Big Ten goalies have claimed four of the top nine places on the national save percentage list. Minnesota's Adam Wilcox leads all conference goalies and ranks second in the nation at .934, followed by Michigan's Zach Nagelvoort (seventh, .929), Wisconsin's Joel Rumpel (eighth, .929) and Ohio State's Christian Frey (ninth, .929).