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Penn State Hockey Wins Big Ten Regular Season Title, Secures No. 1 Seed In Conference Tournament

Update 8:17 p.m.: Penn State hockey is the Big Ten’s outright regular season champion following Minnesota’s 2-1 defeat at the hands of Michigan on Saturday night.

The Golden Gophers needed to win their final regular season contest in order to claim a share of the conference title with the Nittany Lions. After losing its finale, Minnesota has finished the 2019-20 season with 38 points — three short of Penn State’s title-winning total.

Original Story: Ladies and gentlemen, Penn State hockey has won its first Big Ten regular season championship in program history.

The Nittany Lions’ title was secured when Ohio State lost to Wisconsin 3-2 and Minnesota fell to Michigan in a shootout after a 2-2 tie on Friday. Notre Dame also had a chance to clinch a share of the Big Ten title this weekend, but those hopes were dashed when Michigan State picked up a 3-1 victory in South Bend on Friday. Thanks to a bizarre quirk in its schedule, Penn State was idle for the final weekend of college hockey’s regular season.

Guy Gadowsky’s team can now add this regular season title to its trophy case, which includes a conference tournament victory back in 2017. Penn State finished in fourth place in the conference’s standings in each of the past three seasons after a third-place finish in 2015-16.

In addition to capturing a trophy with a share of the conference’s regular-season championship, the Nittany Lions secured a first-round bye in this year’s Big Ten tournament. Penn State will jump right to the conference semifinals on March 15 instead of playing a best-of-three series this upcoming weekend, and the road to this year’s tournament title will run through Pegula Ice Arena.

After missing the NCAA tournament by the narrowest possible margin last season, Penn State’s spot in this year’s big dance is all but secure. College hockey’s PairWise probability matrix puts the team’s chances of making it to the NCAA tournament at 100%. The Nittany Lions can make the big dance by securing an automatic bid by winning the conference tournament, and they’ll also be able to make the big dance via an at-large bid.

Penn State will take on the lowest-remaining seed following the first round of the Big Ten tournament on March 14 at Pegula Ice Arena. The conference title game is currently slated to happen one week after the semifinal round on the day before Selection Sunday.

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About the Author

Mikey Mandarino

In the most upsetting turn of events, Mikey graduated from Penn State with a digital & print journalism degree in the spring of 2020. He covered Penn State football and served as an editor for Onward State from 2018 until his graduation. Mikey is from Bedminster, New Jersey, so naturally, he spends lots of time yelling about all the best things his home state has to offer. Mikey also loves to play golf, but he sucks at it because golf is really hard. If you, for some reason, feel compelled to see what Mikey has to say on the internet, follow him on Twitter @Mikey_Mandarino. You can also get in touch with Mikey via his big-boy email address: [email protected]

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