Big Ten Weekly Hockey Release
Sept. 28, 2017

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• Big Ten hockey will feature seven teams this season, as Notre Dame has joined the conference as a sport affiliate member for hockey. With the addition of the Fighting Irish, schedules for each of the seven conference programs will move to a 24-game format.

• 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.

• Four-time Big Ten Champion Minnesota was tabbed the favorite in the 2017-18 Big Ten hockey preseason coaches’ poll. The Gophers finished last season with a conference record of 14-5-1-0 (23-12-3 overall). Notre Dame was selected second in the preseason poll, with Wisconsin capturing third and defending Big Ten Tournament Champion Penn State taking fourth. Full preseason poll results can be found below.

• The Preseason Watch List features 17 standouts due to ties, with a pair of unanimous selections in 2017 Big Ten Player of the Year Tyler Sheehy and Wisconsin’s Trent Frederic. Penn State’s Peyton Jones, the 2017 Big Ten Tournament Most Outstanding Player, is one of five members of last year’s All-Freshman team to earn preseason recognition along with Minnesota’s Ryan Lindgren and Rem Pitlick, Penn State’s Denis Smirnov and 2017 Big Ten Freshman of the Year Frederic. The full list of honorees can be found below.

• The Preseason Watch List included a pair of students who were Academic All-Big Ten honorees last season in Ohio State’s Matthew Weis and Jobst.

• The Big Ten welcomes two new coaches this season as Mel Pearson becomes the ninth head coach in Michigan hockey history and Danton Cole becomes the seventh coach in Michigan State’s program history.

 Saturday, September 30:
  Ryerson at Ohio State  EX  4:00 pm ET 
  Western Ontario at Michigan  EX  7:00 pm ET 
 Sunday, October 1:
(1)  Michigan Tech at Wisconsin  NC  2:00 pm CT 
  Ottawa at Penn State  EX  3:00 pm ET 
  USA Under-18 Team at Notre Dame  EX  5:05 pm ET 
  Alberta at Minnesota  EX  5:00 pm CT 
(1)  U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Game