The Big Ten hockey tournament championship matchup is set.
One team needed a little extra time to earn its berth in the title game, but No. 2 Wisconsin will face No. 4 Penn State for the Big Ten title at 8 p.m. ET Saturday at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.
Penn State earns its first berth in the Big Ten championship game with a 4-3 double-overtime win against top seed Minnesota on Friday. Wisconsin plays for its first title since 2014 by virtue of Friday’s 2-1 win against No. 3 Ohio State.
— Penn State On BTN (@PennStateOnBTN) March 18, 2017
The Big Ten Network will broadcast Saturday night’s championship game.
— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) March 18, 2017
The Big Ten champion receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, which will include 16 teams.
The NCAA Tournament is scheduled to begin March 24 and will begin at four regional sites: Providence, R.I.; Fargo, N.D.; Manchester, N.H.; and Cincinnati.
The United Center in Chicago will host this year’s Frozen Four, April 6-8.
2017 Big Ten Hockey Tournament championship preview
No. 2 Wisconsin (20-14-1)
Winning the Big Ten championship would pay dividends for the Badgers: They’d earn a spot in the NCAA Tournament. As of Saturday afternoon, the Badgers were 17th in PairWise, a system that mimics how the NCAA determines the 16-team tournament field after the six conference champions earn automatic bids.
Against Ohio State on Friday, Will Johnson’s goal 1:30 into the third period lifted the Badgers to the championship game against the Nittany Lions. Wisconsin goalie Jack Berry made 23 saves.
Nice start to the third period for @BadgerMHockey.
Will Johnson finds the the net to take a 2-1 Badger lead: https://t.co/KvYNjoTKYg
— Wisconsin On BTN (@WisconsinOnBTN) March 17, 2017
No. 4 Penn State (23-11-2)
In its fifth season as a Division I program, Penn State advances to its first Big Ten hockey championship game.
Minnesota’s Jack Sadek scored in the third period to force overtime — two overtimes, in fact — before Penn State’s Erik Autio scored a power-play goal with 6:27 left in the second OT.
Autio’s goal ended the longest Big Ten Tournament hockey game, and, more importantly, helped boost Penn State’s chances to earn an NCAA Tournament berth.
Minnesota goalie Erik Schierhorn made 59 saves, and Penn State goalie Peyton Jones made 37 saves.