All seven schools will be in action this weekend, including a trio of conference series and a non-conference series. Michigan State travels to Michigan on Thursday, before the Spartans host the Wolverines on Friday. No. 15/13 Ohio State will host No. 7/7 Minnesota, while No. 4/4 Notre Dame travels to No. 12/12 Wisconsin for a top-15 Friday-Saturday series. No. 18/- Penn State will take on Robert Morris in a home-and-home series, with the Nittany Lions taking on the Colonials at PPG Paints Arena on Friday before hosting on Saturday.
Seven Big Ten students earned spots on the 28-player preliminary roster for the 2018 U.S. National Junior Team. Michigan's Quinn Hughes, Will Lockwood, Josh Norris; Minnesota's Ryan Lindgren, Casey Mittelstadt; Notre Dame's Andrew Peeke and Wisconsin's Trent Frederic have all been named to the roster and will be attending the U.S. National Junior Team's pre-tournament camp in Columbus, Ohio, Dec. 15-19, as part of the selection process. The final roster will be announced Dec. 23 with the International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship scheduled for Dec. 26, 2017, to Jan. 5, 2018, in Buffalo, New York.
Four Big Ten teams appear in the USCHO.com and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls. Notre Dame paces conference teams at No. 4 in both the USCHO.com rankings and the coaches rankings. Minnesota follows at No. 7/7, Wisconsin checks in at No. 12/12, while Ohio State is No. 15/13. Penn State is No. 18 in the USCHO.com poll, while receiving votes in the coaches rankings. Michigan is also receiving votes in the USCHO.com poll.
Since the 2013-14 season, five Big Ten schools (Michigan, Minnesota, Notre Dame, Penn State and Wisconsin) have been ranked in the top five of both the USCHO.com and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls. Those five teams have combined to be ranked in the top five of both polls a total of 76 times, with at least one top-five team in 56 out of 111 weeks. During that span, the Gophers have earned a spot in the top five of both polls 43 times.
Notre Dame goalie Cale Morris, who led the nation in save percentage (.969) and goals-against average (1.12) last month while going 8-0-0 with three shutouts, was named the Hockey Commissioners' Association National Division I Player of the Month for November. Morris was named one of the Big Ten's Three Stars in all four weeks of November, including three straight First Star selections to end the month. This made him the first player in Big Ten history to claim the conference's top weekly honor in three consecutive weeks, a record he added to earlier this week when he was named the Big Ten First Star for the fourth straight week. The sophomore currently leads the nation with a .955 save percentage and a .929 winning percentage.
Minnesota goaltender Eric Schierhorn made his 92nd-straight start on Saturday - fifth all-time in NCAA history for consecutive starts by a goalie. The junior's streak is the most consecutive starts among all active NCAA goaltenders.
Notre Dame's Jake Evans paces the nation and the conference with 28 points through 18 games. Evans also leads the country in assists (21) and faceoffs won (250).
Big Ten teams currently occupy four of the top 16 positions on the national team scoring list. Penn State ranks second nationally with 3.89 goals per game, followed by Michigan in fifth (3.50), Wisconsin in seventh (3.47) and Notre Dame in 16th with 3.22 goals per contest.
Notre Dame is 8-0-0-0 in conference action, making it the first Big Ten team ever to win its first eight conference contests of the season. The Fighting Irish are the second team to go undefeated through eight games and the first since Minnesota started 8-0-2-0 in 2013-14 as part of a 10-game unbeaten streak to open conference play.
Tickets are on sale for the third annual "Super Saturday -- College Hoops & Hockey" doubleheader, which will feature Ohio State taking on Minnesota in men's basketball and Michigan State facing the Gophers in hockey at Madison Square Garden on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018. The men's basketball contest will tip off at Noon ET, and the hockey game will begin at 8 p.m. Tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster (ticketmaster.com), by calling (866) 858-0008 or at MSG.com.