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Big Ten CommunicationsPublished: 11/23/2023, Last updated: 3/15/2024
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Week 8 Hockey Release

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• Big Ten Hockey action continues this Thanksgiving Weekend as No. 7/7 Michigan State and No. 8/8 Minnesota meet in Big Ten play while five other teams engage in nonconference series. The Spartans and Gophers last crossed paths in the 2023 Big Ten Tournament semifinals (won by Minnesota). The series final on Sunday will be carried by Big Ten Network. Friday’s slate of games will see a battle of Top 20 teams as No. 2/1 Boston College faces No. 18/18 Notre Dame and No. 14/14 Michigan travels to No. 17/16 St. Cloud State. In other series, No. 6/6 Wisconsin will host Alaska Anchorage, No. 19/19 Penn State entertains Lindenwood and rv/- Ohio State welcomes -/rv Princeton to Value City Arena.

• Michigan State has moved to the top spot of the Big Ten standings following a sweep of No. 1/1 Wisconsin last weekend in East Lansing. MSU Athletic Communications Director Jamie Baldwin notes that the Spartans earned their first win against a No. 1-ranked team since 2009 and their first series sweep versus a top-ranked squad dating to 1974 (against Michigan Tech). Freshman netminder Trey Augustine turned away 60 of 64 shots in the series to earn Big Ten First Star of the Week honors. Michigan State leads the country in wins (10) under second-year Head Coach Adam Nightingale and has captured 16 of a possible 18 points in conference play. MSU’s early season success has moved turnstiles at Munn Ice Arena where the Spartans have sold out seven of eight games and played to 98.8 percent capacity.

• Minnesota looks to elevate its standings position as the preseason favorites could leapfrog four teams with a sweep in Minneapolis. Currently in sixth, five points separate the Gophers from second place. Minnesota has three losses in conference play after sustaining just four Big Ten losses during their record-setting 2022-23 campaign. 

• Head Coach Guy Gadowsky recorded his 200th win at Penn State on Nov. 18 as the Nittany Lions rallied for a 5-3 win over Michigan. Now in his 12th season in Hockey Valley, Gadowsky is the only head coach the Nittany Lions have known during their current varsity existence. Several other Big Ten coaches are on the verge of milestones as well. Jeff Jackson is one win shy of 400 at Notre Dame and Minnesota’s Bob Motzko needs two wins to hit 400 for his career. Big Ten newcomer Mike Hastings recorded his 300th career win in Wisconsin’s season opener. 

• Freshmen swept this week’s Three Stars of the Week accolades, marking just the fourth time in 206 weeks of selections that has occurred. In addition to MSU’s Trey Augustine, Penn State classmates Aiden Fink and Matt DiMarsico were honored following six-point weekends for both forwards. Fink became the first PSU player to record a hat trick in a Big Ten road game while DiMarsico tied a school record with four assists in the series finale versus Michigan, which produced Penn State’s first win in Ann Arbor in five years.