media source avatar
Big Ten CommunicationsPublished: 3/21/2024, Last updated: 3/22/2024
link picture

Week 23 Hockey Release

page picture


• The Big Ten Hockey Tournament Championship game will feature a Top 10 battle when No. 4 seed Michigan faces No. 1 seed Michigan State on Saturday (March 23) at 8 p.m. at Munn Ice Arena in East Lansing, Mich. Big Ten Network will broadcast the game. The Spartans are ranked fifth in both national polls and Michigan is ranked tenth.

No. 4 seed Michigan (23-13-3) at No. 1 seed Michigan State (23-9-3)

Michigan State, hosting its first-ever Big Ten Tournament game, recorded a 2-1 decision over No. 7 seed Ohio State in the semifinals on Saturday. Michigan won by an identical score against No. 3 seed Minnesota, defeating the Gophers for the third-straight year in the tournament. Michigan is appearing in its fifth Big Ten Championship Game, having claimed three titles (2016, 2022, 2023), including the last two. Michigan State is making its debut in the Big Ten Final. Michigan Head Coach Brandon Naurato owns a 7-0 record in the Big Ten Tournament while Michigan State’s Adam Nightingale sports a 3-2 record.

• Michigan-Michigan State is the most played rivalry in college hockey with 346 meetings between the schools. The teams met four times during the regular season with MSU finishing with a 3-1-0 advantage. The Spartans also claimed the “Iron D” Trophy for the first time since 2016 with a 3-2 win over the Wolverines before 18,410 at Little Caesars Arena on Feb. 10.

• The last time Michigan and Michigan State met in a conference final was at the 2002 Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) Championship. Red Berenson led the Wolverines to a 3-2 win over Ron Mason’s Spartans at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Mich.

• Wisconsin senior goaltender Kyle McClellan has been named as one of 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award and one of three finalists for the Mike Richter Award. In his first season as a starter, McClellan has posted a NCAA-best seven shutouts and .931 save percentage along with the second-best goals-against average (1.92) in the nation. He was named the Big Ten Goaltender of the Year this week, becoming the first Wisconsin player to earn that honor.

• The Big Ten Conference announced its postseason awards and all-conference honors on Tuesday. Voting was conducted by conference coaches and a media panel and winners were revealed live on Big Ten Network’s B1G Today show. Gavin Brindley was named Player of the Year, becoming the first Michigan player to win that award since 2016. Michigan State’s Artyom Levshunov was tabbed Defensive Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year, a feat never accomplished before in Big Ten Hockey. Michigan State’s Adam Nightingale was named Coach of the Year, a first for the Spartan program.