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Big Ten CommunicationsPublished: 2/8/2024, Last updated: 2/12/2024
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Week 17 Hockey Release

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• The Big Ten Hockey season hits the stretch run as just four weeks remain of conference games. This week’s schedule finds No. 9/8 Michigan State and No. 11/11 Michigan squaring off for their second series in three weeks. The opener takes place in Ann Arbor before the scene shifts to Little Caesars Arena in Detroit Saturday for the “Duel in the D”. The teams split a home-and-home series Jan. 19-20 with the visitors winning both games. The Big Ten Network will televise Saturday’s battle for the Iron D Trophy in the most played rivalry in college hockey.

• This weekend’s docket of games also features No. 4/4 Wisconsin hosting rv/#20 Notre Dame. Wisconsin is five points behind first-place Michigan State (with two games in hand) while Notre Dame has won four of its last five games. The Badgers swept a series on Irish ice in January. No. 8/9 Minnesota looks to stay in the title chase taking on Penn State in the Twin Cities. Coach Bob Motzko’s squad, which has captured 13 of a possible 18 points during the new year, faces a Nittany Lions team coming off a sweep of Ohio State (Jan. 26-27) and a bye week. The season series is up for grabs as the teams split in Hockey Valley in early December. Friday’s contest will be broadcast by FS1 and Saturday’s contest carried on BTN. Ohio State is idle this week.

• The Border Battle between Minnesota and Wisconsin on Feb. 3 was the third-largest attended NCAA men’s hockey game this season, drawing 15,359 spectators to the Kohl Center in Madison, Wis. It also marked the largest crowd this season at an on-campus facility. 

• Michigan sophomore forward Rutger McGroarty was named national player of the month for the second time this season by the Hockey Commissioners Association (HCA) on Wednesday. Chosen as a co-winner in October, McGroarty was equally impressive in January, leading the nation with 16 points on three goals and 13 assists in six games. He leads Big Ten players in overall scoring, having amassed 10 goals, 25 assists and 35 points in 21 games for a 1.67 points-per-game average.

• Eight Big Ten rookies are in the running for the Tim Taylor Award, given annually to the nation’s top freshman player. Included on the 33-player Watch List for the Taylor Award are: Aiden Fink (PSU), Quinn Finley (WIS), Artyum Levshunov (MSU), Oliver Moore (MINN), Danny Nelson (ND), Joe Palodichuk (WIS), Sam Rinzel (MINN) and Garrett Schifsky (MICH). Current Columbus Blue Jacket Adam Fantilli captured the Taylor for Michigan last season, becoming the third Wolverine to do so. The award, which is voted on by Division I assistant coaches, will be presented in April at the NCAA Frozen Four in St. Paul, Minn.