Big Ten Weekly Hockey Release

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• Following the break for final exams and the holidays, four conference squads will take the ice this weekend. No. 9/9 Ohio State welcomes Niagara for a Friday-Saturday series, while No. 10/10 Minnesota hosts Army West Point. Michigan and Michigan State will ring in the new year at the 53rd Annual Great Lakes Invitational on Jan. 1-2, in conjunction with the Inaugural Season at Little Caesars Arena.

• Seven Big Ten students earned spots on the final 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 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship scheduled for Dec. 26, 2017, to Jan. 5, 2018, in Buffalo, N.Y.

• Four Big Ten teams appear in the USCHO.com and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls. Notre Dame paces conference teams at No. 3 in both the USCHO.com rankings and the coaches rankings. Ohio State follows at No. 9/9, Minnesota checks in at No. 10/10, Wisconsin comes in at No. 13/15, while Penn State is No. 15/13. Michigan is also receiving votes in both polls.

• 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 77 times, with at least one top-five team in 57 out of 112 weeks. During that span, the Gophers have earned a spot in the top five of both polls 43 times.

• Notre Dame’s Jake Evans paces the nation and the conference with 28 points through 20 games. Evans also leads the country in assists (21) and faceoffs won (277).

• Big Ten teams currently occupy four of the top 15 positions on the national team scoring list. Penn State ranks second nationally with 4.10 goals per game, followed by Notre Dame in 12th (3.35), Wisconsin in 13th (3.33) and Michigan in 15th with 3.31 goals per contest.

• Notre Dame is 10-0-0-0 in conference action, making it the first Big Ten team ever to win its first 10 conference contests of the season. The Fighting Irish are the second team to go undefeated through 10 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.