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Big Ten CommunicationsPublished: 11/2/2023, Last updated: 3/15/2024
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Week 5 Hockey Release

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• The first full slate of conference games take place this week as three conference series highlight the schedule. No. 5/5 Wisconsin plays host to No. 4/3 Michigan, No. 12/12 Michigan State travels to No. 13/13 Ohio State and No. 17/17 Penn State takes on rv/rv Notre Dame in University Park, Pa. No. 6/6 Minnesota steps out of conference to meet No. 14/14 Minnesota Duluth in a home-and-home series beginning Friday in Minneapolis. All seven Big Ten schools will have conference games to their credit following this weekend’s action.

• Big Ten schools own a combined 29-12-2 record against the other five conferences and independent teams this season with the .698 winning percentage representing the best mark among conferences. The Big Ten compiled the best nonconference record in the country last season as well with a .715 percentage.

• Wisconsin is experiencing a resurgence under first year Head Coach Mike Hastings. The Badgers lead the country in wins (7) and winning percentage (.875) after sweeping top-ranked Minnesota on the road last weekend. In just three weeks Wisconsin has gone from being unranked to No. 5 in both polls. Having compiled a 7-1-0 record, Wisconsin is off to its best start since the 2000-01 campaign.

• Michigan sophomore forward Rutger McGroarty was named Co-Player of the Month by the Hockey Commissioners Association (HCA) on Wednesday. A first round NHL pick of Winnipeg, McGroarty led the nation in scoring during the month of October, stockpiling five goals and 10 assists for 15 points. He also recorded points in seven of eight games in leading the Wolverines to a 5-2-1 start. McGroarty was tabbed Big Ten First Star of the Week on Oct. 10.• After an explosive weekend which saw Michigan outscore Lindenwood, 19-2, it’s not surprising that Wolverines occupy the top five spots in overall scoring among Big Ten skaters. T.J. Hughes and Rutger McGroarty led the way with 15 points, followed by Seamus Casey (14), Dylan Duke (13) and Gavin Brindley (13). Casey has twice as many points as the next defenseman on the scoring list. Other individual leaders include Wisconsin’ Carson Bantle in game-winning goals (2), Penn State’s Ryan Kirwan in shots (37), Landon Slaggert of Notre Dame in shooting percentage (.368), Notre Dame’s Zach Plucinski in blocks (17) and Wisconsin’s Joe Palodichuk in plus/minus rating (+10). Among goaltenders, Kyle McClellan of Wisconsin carries a league-best 1.62 goals-against average and .933 save percentage. McClellan played two seasons at Mercyhurst before making 15 appearances for Wisconsin last year.
• A couple of former Big Ten players scored their first NHL goals on Wednesday. Logan Cooley, an All-American last year with Minnesota, netted a goal for the Arizona Coyotes while Penn State’s Brandon Biro scored twice for the Buffalo Sabres.