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Big Ten CommunicationsPublished: 4/17/2024, Last updated: 4/20/2024
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Week 26 Hockey Release (Season-in-Review)

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• The 11th season of Big Ten Hockey concluded April 11 at the NCAA Frozen Four as Michigan fell to No. 1 overall seed Boston College, 4-0, in a semifinal game held at the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, Minn.

• The Big Ten sent four teams to the NCAA Tournament, which was tied for the most among conferences. Michigan State earned the conference’s automatic berth while Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin received at-large berths into the 16-team field. Big Ten teams finished 4-4 during the NCAA postseason, which included a head-to-head encounter between Michigan and Michigan State. During the regular season, the Big Ten compiled the best nonconference record in the country with a 54-18-6 mark (.731).

• The “Friday Night at the Frozen Four” awards ceremony on April 12 recognized several Big Ten players. Wisconsin senior Kyle McClellan received the Mike Richter Award as the nation’s top goaltender, becoming the third Big Ten netminder to capture the award. Junior forward Dylan Lugris of Penn State earned the Hockey Humanitarian Award, presented to college hockey’s finest citizen. It marked the fourth time a Big Ten player has received that award. Five student-athletes achieved All-America status: 

AHCA/CCM First Team West               Gavin Brindley, F, Michigan                     Seamus Casey, D, Michigan  AHCA/CCM Second Team WestRutger McGroarty, F, MichiganArtyom Levshunov, D, Michigan StateKyle McClellan, G, Wisconsin

• Michigan State became the third team to capture the Big Ten “Double”, winning the conference regular season and tournament titles in the same season. Both championships were a first for the Spartans, who joined Minnesota (2014-15) and Notre Dame (2017-18) in the exclusive club. MSU took over first place in the Big Ten on January 13 and remained in first for seven weeks, clinching the regular season title on March 1 with a 5-2 win at Wisconsin. The Spartans were picked third in the preseason coaches poll after finishing tied for fifth a season ago. Wisconsin finished second in the standings under first-year Head Coach Mike Hastings after placing seventh in 2022-23. The Badgers’ 26 wins were the most since the 2009-10 season.• The Big Ten had four teams finish in the Top 10 in the final USA Today/The Rink Live Poll. Earning spots were Michigan (fourth), Michigan State (fifth), Minnesota (seventh) and Wisconsin (10th).• In NCAA rankings, Michigan led the nation in power play goals (50) and percentage (33.6 percent). Individually, Kyle McClellan paced the country with seven shutouts and a .931 save percentage.• A total of 94 former Big Ten players have appeared in the National Hockey League this season, including three recent signees who earned All-Big Ten honors this season: Gavin Brindley (MICH/Columbus), Frank Nazar III (MICH/Chicago) and Landon Slaggert (ND/Chicago). The Big Ten was home to 59 NHL Draft picks and on the international stage, 12 Big Ten players helped the U.S. National Junior Team to a gold medal at the IIHF World Junior Championship.• Big Ten teams played before large crowds and viewing audiences with five schools ranked among the Top 10 in NCAA attendance.  Michigan and Michigan State attracted the largest regular season crowd when 18,410 turned out for the “Duel in the D” at Little Caesars Arena. That attendance was surpassed only by games at the Frozen Four. The Big Ten Tournament Championship Game garnered 136,000 viewers on the Big Ten Network and the 2023-24 season was the third-most watched in BTN history.• The Big Ten Tournament drew record crowds, resulting in attendance records for: quarterfinals round (48,791), semifinal single-game (10,336 at Minnesota), overall single-game (10,837 at Wisconsin) and tournament total (72,237).