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Big Ten CommunicationsPublished: 11/15/2023, Last updated: 3/15/2024
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Week 7 Hockey Release

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• This week’s Big Ten hockey schedule features six teams ranked in the Top 20, according to the and USA Today/The Rink Live polls. Top-ranked Wisconsin travels to No. 11/11 Michigan State in a battle of first- and second-place teams. No. 6/6 Minnesota plays host to No. 17/18 Notre Dame; the Irish broke into the Top 20 following a six-point weekend. No. 12/12 Michigan encounters No. 18/19 Penn State with a point separating the teams in the standings. Ohio State is idle. All six games this weekend will be carried on B1G+—BTN’s home for non-televised events and on-demand archives.
• Wisconsin, which has won six-straight games, has taken over the top spot in the national polls. The last time the Badgers were rated No. 1 in either poll was in 2006. Wisconsin’s 9-1-0 start is the program’s best since the 1999-00 team went 10-1-0. Attendance is up eight percent at the Kohl Center, which drew the largest crowd in college hockey this season when 12,218 turned out for the Michigan-Wisconsin game on Nov. 4.
• Notre Dame graduate student Ryan Bischel earned Big Ten First Star of the Week honors following ND’s sweep of Ohio State on Nov. 10-11. Bischel allowed just one goal on the weekend, turning away 60 of 61 shots for a .984 save percentage and a 0.50 goals-against average. The reigning Big Ten Goaltender of the Year, Bischel ranks second nationally in save percentage (.940) and 10th in goals-against average (1.90). Bischel has earned a Big Ten weekly star award six times during his career, receiving honors in four consecutive seasons.
• The Big Ten is home to two of the highest scoring teams in the country. Michigan ranks second nationally in scoring offense with a 4.58 goals per game average and Michigan State stands third, averaging 4.50 goals. Big Ten teams have scored five-or-more goals in a game 19 times this season, compiling a 17-2-0 record during that span. Michigan hit the high-water mark with 10 goals against Lindenwood on Oct. 28.
• Five players are tied atop the Big Ten scoring chart during the early stages of conference play. Michigan’s Seamus Casey (0-6—6) is the lone defenseman among the group and is joined by teammate Frank Nazar (3-3-—6). Michigan State has three players on the list: freshman Gavin O’Connell (6-0—6), Karsen Dorwart (1-5—6) and Isaac Howard (3-3—6).
• Wisconsin recently announced plans to change the surface size of Bob Johnson Rink over the next two summers, continuing a trend as schools go from Olympic-size ice to NHL dimensions (200 x 85). Minnesota reduced the size of its ice surface at 3M Arena at Mariucci during the off-season, leaving five NCAA Division I arenas with Olympic-size surfaces.