BIG TEN MEDAL OF HONOR 100TH ANNIVERSARY SPOTLIGHT - Ohio State's David Hoyles: Hoyles, who earned the Big Ten Medal of Honor in 1973, tallied 131 points (64 goals, 67 assists) in 115 career games at Ohio State. The Tupperville, Ontario native led the Buckeyes with 19 goals as a freshman during the 1969-70 season, a mark which still ranks among the top 10 in freshman scoring in school history. Hoyles served as a captain of the 1971-72 squad, which posted a 24-5-0 overall record. Forty years after concluding his career, Hoyles still ranks 29th in points in school history.
Where We Rank: Minnesota reclaimed the No. 1 spot in the USCHO.com poll on Dec. 16. The Gophers have now been ranked No. 1 in both national polls in eight of the last nine weeks dating back to Oct. 21. Michigan is ranked No. 3 in both polls for the fourth straight week. In their most recent outing, the Wolverines tied No. 4/4 Ferris State, 2-2, at home on Dec. 11. Wisconsin, which posted a sweep of Colorado College at the Kohl Center Dec. 13-14 and is riding a four-game winning streak, checks in at No. 14 in the USCHO.com poll and No. 15 in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll. Ohio State is receiving votes in the USCHO.com poll for the sixth consecutive week.
Back on the Ice: Five of the conference’s six schools will return to the ice this weekend. Three schools will participate in tournaments with Penn State competing in the Three Rivers Classic in Pittsburgh, Pa., while Michigan and Michigan State take part in the Great Lakes Invitational. Ohio State will take the ice for the first time since Dec. 2 when it hosts Mercyhurst while Wisconsin will host Alabama Huntsville at the Kohl Center.
The Great Outdoors: Michigan and Michigan State will take part in the 49th annual Great Lakes Invitational, scheduled for Dec. 27-28 at Comerica Park in Detroit, Mich. This year’s tournament is being held as part of the Hockeytown Winter Festival at Comerica Park, in conjunction with the 2014 NHL Winter Classic between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs. While this marks the first time that the tournament will be held outdoors, the Wolverines and Spartans are no strangers to outdoor hockey. Michigan is 2-1-1 in outdoor games, including a 4-1 win over Ohio State at Progressive Field on Jan. 15, 2012. Michigan State is 0-1-1 outdoors with both games taking place against Michigan. The Wolverines lead all schools with 15 GLI titles while the Spartans are second with 12 championships. Michigan last won the event in 2011 while Michigan State earned its last GLI crown in 2009.
Going for Gold: Five players from Big Ten teams earned spots on the 24-man roster for the 2014 U.S. National Junior Team, which is being led by Minnesota head coach Don Lucia. Andrew Copp and Tyler Motte from Michigan, Hudson Fasching and Brady Skjei from Minnesota and Nic Kerdiles from Wisconsin each find themselves on the U.S. roster, which was will be trimmed to 23 players prior to the start of the event. Copp was named an assistant captain for the team. The International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship is scheduled for Dec. 26, 2013, to Jan. 5, 2014, in Malmo, Sweden. The U.S. opens the tournament on Dec. 26 against the Czech Republic. NHL Network will broadcast all U.S. games from the tournament.
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. 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.