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Big Ten CommunicationsPublished: 10/12/2023, Last updated: 3/15/2024
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Week 2 Hockey Release

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• The second week of the season starts Thursday when No. 8/8 Michigan State encounters Air Force in Colorado for a two-game series. Four other Big Ten schools hit the road as well with No. 6/6 Michigan traveling to UMass, No. 18/17 Penn State visiting Clarkson and St. Lawrence, rv/rv Notre Dame meeting RIT in upstate New York and rv/rv Wisconsin playing at Bemidji State and North Dakota. Making home debuts this weekend are No. 14/14 Ohio State (hosting Lindenwood) and No. 2/1 Minnesota, which meets crosstown rv/- St. Thomas.

• The latest polls find five Big Ten teams ranked nationally with two others receiving votes. Minnesota moved into the top spot in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll, a position the Gophers are familiar with after being ranked No. 1 for 15 weeks in 2022-23. Michigan is ranked sixth, Michigan State eighth and Ohio State 14th in both surveys. No. 18/17 Penn State rounds out the Top 20. Receiving votes are Wisconsin and Notre Dame.

• Opening weekend saw three Big Ten freshmen playing staring roles with their teams. Michigan State defenseman Artyom Levshunov scored a goal in his second collegiate game and finished with a conference-high 12 shots on goal for the weekend. Teammate Trey Augustine turned away 55 of 59 shots for a .932 save percentage in a pair of starts in net. Ohio State 6-foot-5 defenseman Theo Wallberg recorded three assists in Ohio State’s 4-3 win at Mercyhurst on Oct. 7.

• The National Hockey League opened its season on Tuesday and NHL teams are filled with Big Ten players. Opening night rosters feature 73 players with Big Ten ties, including five players named to the 2023 All-Big Ten First Team — Michigan’s Adam Fantilli (Columbus) and Luke Hughes (New Jersey) along with Minnesota’s Logan Cooley (Arizona), Brock Faber (Minnesota) and Matthew Knies (Toronto). Michigan leads the nation with 25 players in the NHL, Minnesota is second with 21 and Wisconsin fifth with 13. Last year 92 former Big Ten players saw action in at least one NHL regular season or playoff game.

• Mike Hastings earned his first win as Wisconsin head coach in a season-opening 4-0 win over Augustana. The Badgers swept the weekend series against the NCAA’s newest varsity program with a 3-0 win on Saturday. Goaltender Kyle McClellan earned the Big Ten Third Star of the Week Award after becoming the first Wisconsin goaltender since 1963 to record consecutive shutouts against the same opponent in one weekend.

• Michigan State dedicated its rink surface at Munn Arena to the late Ron Mason on Saturday. Mason coached 23 seasons at Michigan State and later served as athletics director. He ranks second on the NCAA’s all-time wins list. Three other rinks in the Big Ten are named after legendary coaches: Red Berenson R ink at Michigan’s Yost Ice Arena, Lefty Smith Rink inside Notre Dame’s Compton Family Ice Arena and Bob Johnson Rink located in Wisconsin’s Kohl Center.