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Big Ten CommunicationsPublished: 12/27/2023, Last updated: 3/15/2024
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Week 11 Hockey Release

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• Big Ten Hockey returns to the ice with four teams in action during the last week of 2023. No. 6/6 Wisconsin makes its third appearance at the Kwik Trip Holiday Face-Off in Milwaukee, having reached the championship game last year after winning the inaugural event in 2021.  The Badgers, who lead the country with 14 wins, will meet Air Force on Thursday at Fiserv Forum. No. 7/7 Michigan State continues a long-standing tradition with its appearance at the 57th Annual Great Lakes Invitational. The Spartans have won 12 GLIs (second-most) with their most recent title coming in 2009. MSU takes on Ferris State on Thursday at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Mich.

• Two Big Ten schools will be home this week, hosting nonconference opponents. Ohio State entertains Mercyhurst on Saturday and rv/rv Notre Dame plays host to first-year Augustana in a two-game series starting Saturday. Minnesota encounters the U.S. National Team Development Program Under-18 squad in a New Year’s Day exhibition at 3M Arena at Mariucci. No. 15/15 Michigan and No. 19/18 Penn State are idle this week.

• The IIHF World Junior Championship began today in Gothenburg, Sweden, and the 25-member United States squad contains 12 players from the Big Ten:

F Gavin Brindley, MICH (#4)
F Rutger McGroarty, MICH (#2)
F Frank Nazar III, MICH (#91)
F Isaac Howard, MSU (#22)
F Oliver Moore, MINN (#11)
F Jimmy Snuggerud, MINN (#81)
F Danny Nelson, ND (#17)
F Quinn Finley, WIS (#16)
D Seamus Casey, MICH (#26)
D Ryan Chesley, MINN (#71)
D Sam Rinzel, MINN (#8)
G Trey Augustine, MSU (#1) 

McGroarty was named team captain with Brindley and Chesley chosen as alternate captains. Minnesota Associate Head Coach Steve Miller will serve as an assistant coach for Team USA. The Americans captured bronze at last year’s tournament and are looking for their first gold medal since 2021.

• Big Ten players are also representing other countries at the WJC. Michigan State freshman defenseman Maxim Štrbák is skating for Slovakia and teammate forward Tommi Männistö is playing for Finland. 

• Heading into the second half of the 2023-24 season, four Big Ten teams are in line for an NCAA postseason berth according to the Pairwise Rankings: No. 6 Wisconsin, No. 7 Michigan State, No. 12 Minnesota and No. 15 Michigan. The PairWise Ranking is a formula which mimics the method used by the NCAA Selection Committee to determine the 16-team field for the NCAA Tournament.