Dec. 12, 2013
Big Ten Hockey Weekly Release
BIG TEN MEDAL OF HONOR 100TH ANNIVERSARY SPOTLIGHT - Wisconsin's John Byce: Byce, who earned the Big Ten Medal of Honor in 1990, tallied 165 points in 169 career games at Wisconsin. This included a hat trick in the 1990 NCAA championship game, which the Badgers won 7-3 to claim their fifth national title. Within a week of that contest, Byce was playing for the Boston Bruins, helping the team reach the Stanley Cup Finals. A native of Madison, Wis., Byce played professionally through the 1999-00 season before moving into the corporate real estate business.
Where We Rank: Minnesota claimed the No. 1 spot in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll for the eighth consecutive week after taking four of six points during a conference series at Michigan State last weekend. The Gophers, who are now idle until Jan. 3, fell to No. 2 in the USCHO.com poll. Michigan is ranked No. 3 in both polls for the third straight week. The Wolverines tied No. 4/4 Ferris State, 2-2, at home on Wednesday night. Wisconsin, which posted a sweep of Penn State at the Kohl Center last weekend, checks in at No. 15 in both polls. Ohio State is receiving votes in the USCHO.com poll for the fifth consecutive week.
Spartans Win First Shootout: Michigan State and Minnesota took part in the conference's first shootout on Friday night at Munn Ice Arena, with the Spartans claiming the extra point in the conference standings. Michigan State's Villiam Haag knotted the game at 2-2 at the 5:56 mark of the third period, sending the game to overtime. With neither team able to break the deadlock, the squads moved to a shootout where the Spartans' Michael Ferrantino notched the lone conversion on the first attempt of the shootout.
Time to Represent: Six players from Big Ten teams earned spots on the 26-player preliminary roster for the 2014 U.S. National Junior Team which is being led by Minnesota head coach Don Lucia. JT Compher, Andrew Copp and Tyler Motte from Michigan, Hudson Fasching and Brady Skjei from Minnesota and Nic Kerdiles from Wisconsin will each look to claim a spot on the final 23-man roster Dec. 15-18 at a training camp to be help at Mariucci Arena in Minneapolis. The final roster will be announced Dec. 23 with the International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship scheduled for Dec. 26, 2013, to Jan. 5, 2014, in Malmo, Sweden.
Conference Play Overview: The Big Ten schedule is a 20-game slate with each team playing the other five members four times. Shootouts will be utilized to decide conference games 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. Points in the regular season Big Ten standings will be awarded as follows: three points for a regulation or overtime win, two points for a shootout win, one point for a shootout loss and no points for a regulation or overtime loss.
On the Air: More than half of all conference games will appear on national television this season, as 31 of the 60 Big Ten clashes are slated to air on BTN, ESPNU, ESPNEWS and NBCSN. BTN will carry 20 conference games, ESPNEWS and NBCSN will each broadcast four contests and ESPNU will carry two games. At least 19 additional conference games will air on regional or local television.
Taking on the Best: Big Ten teams have posted 11 victories over ranked opponents so far this season in non-conference play. The Spartans will have a chance to add to that total on Saturday when they face #4/4 Ferris State. So far this season, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State and Wisconsin have combined to defeat Boston College (twice), Boston University (twice), Lake Superior State (once), Miami (once), Minnesota Duluth (twice), New Hampshire (twice) and Notre Dame (once).
On Sale Now: Tickets for the inaugural Big Ten Men's Ice Hockey Tournament, slated for March 20-22, 2014, at Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, Minn., are on sale. Ticket packages can be purchased at the Xcel Energy Center Box Office, Ticketmaster Ticket Centers, charge by phone at 800-745-3000 or online at www.ticketmaster.com.