Six schools will be in action this weekend, including a conference series and a pair of teams hosting non-conference series on home ice. No. 7/7 Minnesota will open conference play this weekend, playing host to 2017 Big Ten Tournament Champion No. 11/11 Penn State for a Friday-Sunday series. No. 4/6 Notre Dame and Ohio State will both play a pair of contests at home, with the Fighting Irish welcoming No. 1/1 Denver and the Buckeyes hosting Rensselaer. Michigan State will face Bowling Green in a home-and-home series. The Spartans will visit the Falcons on Friday before welcoming them on Saturday. No. 10/10 Wisconsin rounds out the weekend with a pair of road games. The Badgers will face off against No. 13/- Boston College on Friday before visiting Merrimack on Saturday.
A trio of Big Ten matchups will be carried live on national television this weekend. Both of the games between No. 4/6 Notre Dame and No. 1/1 Denver will be carried on NBCSN, with Friday's contest airing at 7 p.m. ET and Saturday's airing at 6 p.m. Friday's contest between No. 7/7 Minnesota and No. 11/11 Penn State will appear on FS North at 8 p.m.
Minnesota's Eric Schierhorn, Penn State's Peyton Jones and Wisconsin's Kyle Hayton were among the 20 players named to the watch list for the 2018 Mike Richter Award, which annually honors the most outstanding goaltender in NCAA Division I men's hockey and is named after former Wisconsin netminder Mike Richter. Hayton was named a finalist for the award in 2015. This year's honoree will be announced at the 2018 NCAA Men's Frozen Four in St. Paul, Minn.
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.
During regular-season conference games, shootouts will be utilized to decide contests that remain tied following the conclusion of the five-minute overtime period. Each team will select three players with teams alternating shots. If the shootout remains tied at the end of three rounds, each team will select a different shooter in a sudden-death situation.
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.
The 2017-18 Big Ten hockey season will feature an extensive slate of television coverage, with more than 60 total games. The lineup is highlighted by a package of at least 20 national broadcasts to be carried on BTN, with another two broadcasts on ESPN2 or ESPNU, along with an additional 34 games to be carried on FOX Sports Regional Networks and NBCSN.
Every game televised by BTN and FOX Sports Regional Networks can be streamed nation-wide via the web, smartphones, tablets and connected devices on BTN2Go, BTN's digital extension. All games televised on an ESPN network will also be available to stream on the ESPN App.