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Big Ten CommunicationsPublished: 1/31/2024, Last updated: 2/1/2024
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Week 16 Hockey Release

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• Border rivalries highlight this week’s Big Ten Hockey schedule with six teams in action. No. 4/4 Wisconsin plays host to No. 9/9 Minnesota in the latest Border Battle between Top-10 ranked programs. The Badgers swept the Gophers in the conference series opener for both teams Oct. 26-27 in Minneapolis. Minnesota can pull even with Wisconsin in the Big Ten standings with a sweep. No. 12/12 Michigan and Ohio State resume their rivalry in Columbus. The teams met in October which resulted in a Michigan win and an overtime tie. Ohio State won the shootout on the second night and has yet to lose in such a scenario this season, going 4-0. The Wolverines have scored five-or-more goals in seven-straight games. Saturday’s series finale will be carried by the Big Ten Network. Big Ten front runner Michigan State crosses into Indiana to take on Notre Dame. MSU has won four-straight in the series dating to last year’s quarterfinal series win in the Big Ten Tournament. The Spartans own a five-point lead atop the conference standings while Notre Dame is in the running for postseason home ice. Both games will stream on Peacock. Coming off a sweep of Notre Dame, Penn State is idle this week.

• A check of the latest NCAA statistics finds several Big Ten individuals and teams among the national leaders. Michigan’s Rutger McGroarty paces the country in points per game (1.79) and assists per game (1.32). Wisconsin goaltender Kyle McClellan owns an NCAA-best six shutouts while ranking third in save percentage (.930) and winning percentage (.783). Teammate David Silye stands third in faceoffs won (327). Teamwise, Wisconsin rates first in scoring defense (1.88 goals per game), second in winning percentage (.788) and third in penalty killing percentage (87.9). Michigan sports the top power play percentage (38.0) and ranks second in scoring offense (4.71). Michigan State shares the national lead with seven short-handed goals.

• Turnstiles are clicking in arenas around the Big Ten with five schools residing in the Top-10 in national attendance. Minnesota stands second with a home average of 9,429, just ahead of Wisconsin in third (8,802). Michigan State ranks sixth (6,459), having sold out 12 of 13 games at Munn Ice Arena. Penn State stands seventh (6,262) after drawing a record crowd of 6,578 last weekend; the Nittany Lions are playing to 109.8 percent capacity. Michigan ranks ninth (5,775). In addition, Notre Dame has experienced a record-breaking year with average attendance at a new high (4,838), spurred by 12 sold out crowds.

• Penn State junior Dylan Lugris and his teammates will scrimmage the State College Coyotes in the second annual Penn State Sled Hockey Classic on Saturday at 9:30 a.m. inside Pegula Ice Arena. The charity event is organized solely by the Nittany Lions players behind the leadership of Lugris, who helped raise $20,000 last year through donations. “The Coyotes are an inspiration to our program and are a great group of people who share our love of the sport of hockey,” Lugris stated on the school’s athletics website.