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• All seven conference teams will take the ice this weekend, with five teams making their 2018-19 debuts. Penn State will open its 2018-19 slate on Thursday against No. 17/- Clarkson. Michigan State, Ohio State and Wisconsin will each begin their seasons with a Friday-Saturday series, while Notre Dame will participate in the Ice Breaker Tournament in Erie, Pa. …
• Ohio State is ranked first in the USCHO.com and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls this week, marking the first time in program history the team has held down the top spot in either poll. The Buckeyes garnered 18 of 50 first place votes in USCHO and 18 of 34 first place votes in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine rankings. The previous high for the Buckeyes, who started the year ranked third by USCHO, was No. 2 in January 2012. The squad started the year second in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll, and also reached the second spot in January 2012 and October 2005 …
• Since the 2013-14 season, six Big Ten schools (Michigan, Minnesota, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State and Wisconsin) have been ranked in the top five of both the USCHO.com and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls. Those six teams have combined to be ranked in the top five of both polls a total of 102 times, with at least one top-five team in 78 out of 128 weeks …
• Minnesota opened its season with a series against reigning NCAA Champion and top-ranked Minnesota Duluth, going 1-0-1 on the weekend. Sunday’s 7-4 victory marked head coach Bob Motzko’s first victory with the Gophers …
• Ohio State was tabbed the favorite in the 2018-19 Big Ten hockey preseason coaches’ poll. Michigan was selected second in the preseason poll, with defending Big Ten Champion Notre Dame capturing third …
• The Preseason Watch List features 15 standouts due to ties, with six unanimous selections in Michigan’s Quinn Hughes, Michigan State’s Taro Hirose, 2018 Big Ten Player of the Year Cale Morris from Notre Dame, Ohio State’s Tanner Laczynski and Mason Jobst, and Wisconsin’s Wyatt Kalynuk …
• The Preseason Watch List included nine students who were Academic All-Big Ten honorees last season in Michigan’s Jake Slaker, Michigan State’s Patrick Khodorenko and Hirose, Minnesota’s Rem Pitlick and Tyler Sheehy, Notre Dame’s Morris, Ohio State’s Dakota Joshua and Laczynski, and Penn State’s Denis Smirnov …
• The 2018-19 Big Ten hockey season will feature an extensive slate of television coverage, with at least 55 total games. The lineup is highlighted by a package of 23 national broadcasts to be carried on BTN, two broadcasts on ESPNU and the first college hockey game on FS1. An additional 29 games will be carried on FOX Sports Regional Networks …
• Every game televised by BTN and FOX Sports Regional Networks can be streamed nation-wide via the web, smartphones, tablets and connected devices on BTN2Go, BTN’s digital extension. All games televised on an ESPN network will also be available to stream on the ESPN App …
• The Big Ten Conference will follow a new overtime protocol and points system for the 2018-19 season, including the addition of a 3-on-3 overtime period. Any regular season conference game that remains tied after regulation will play the NCAA-mandated five-minute, 5-on-5 sudden-death overtime period. If the game remains tied, the two teams will then play a five-minute, 3-on-3 sudden-death overtime period. If the game is still tied following both overtime periods, then the game will move to a sudden-death shootout …
• Teams will be awarded three points in the conference standings for a win in regulation or the 5-on-5 overtime period. If the game is tied following the 5-on-5 overtime, both teams will receive one point, with a second point being awarded to the team that wins in either the 3-on-3 overtime period or the shootout …