Big Ten hockey is in the process of approving a new format for its conference tournament that would move games to on-campus sites beginning in 2018, a source close to the Big Ten confirmed to the Star Tribune.
The tournament would be played over the course of three weekends and feature three best-of-three quarterfinal round series, two single-game semifinals, and one championship game. All games would be on the campus of the highest seeds.
The regular-season champion, in what will be a seven-team conference by the time new format is in place, would receive a first-round bye. Notre Dame will join the Big Ten as an affiliate hockey member in 2017.
The official announcement is expected in late summer/early fall and is pending several layers of approval.
The Big Ten began exploring other options for its conference tournament after three years of playing at neutral sites in front of small crowds. The tournament was hosted twice at Xcel Energy Center and once at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.
On an upset roll
Eighth-seeded Minnesota State Mankato edged Arkansas Monticello 7-6 in the winners' bracket of the NCAA Division III Central Regional in baseball in St. Cloud.
The Weevels took a 4-1 lead after 2½ innings, but Dylan Dresel hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the third and the Mavericks (36-16) scored three more runs in the fourth to take a 6-4 lead. Two runs came home on a throwing error on Josh Wenzel's sacrifice bunt.
The other two Minnesota teams in the regional played in losers' bracket games.
St. Cloud State, the top seed, defeated Missouri Western State 10-4. Reese Gregory, Zach Hoffman and Zak Hoffman all hit solo homers for the Huskies (43-9), who took an 8-1 lead in the fifth inning. Hoffman was 4-for-5 with two runs scored.
Minnesota Duluth (39-16), the third seed, lost 6-3 to Southwestern Oklahoma State in the losers' bracket. UMD fell behind 4-0 in the first inning. Brett Milazzo and Matt Vogt each had two hits and one RBI for Minnesota Duluth.
St. John's nine wins
Derek Schiebel and Logan Hershey hit home runs as the St. John's defeated North Cental (Ill.) 8-2 in the losers' bracket of the La Crosse (Wis.) Regional in the NCAA Division III baseball tournament. Ben Etzell pitched a nine-hitter for the win; he gave up single runs in the first and third innings.
The Johnnies (30-13) took a 4-2 lead with three runs in the fifth. Hershey's sacrifice fly enabled the eventual winning run to score.
St. Thomas beat host Trine Thunder 9-5 in the opening game of a best-of-three NCAA Division III Super Regional in Angola, Ind.
The Tommies scored four runs in the top of the seventh to break open a one-run game. Pitcher Kierstin Anderson-Glass's bunt single scored the eventual winning. Dana Connelly followed with a two-run single and eventually scored on an error.
Anderson-Glass pitched a complete game, giving up three earned runs and six hits.
Augustana golfers 10th
Augustana is in 10th place after three rounds of the NCAA Division II women's golf championship in Aurora, Colo. Marisa Toivonen, a junior from Red Wing, is the Vikings' top golfer. She is tied for fourth at 1-under 215. Rachel Gray of Concordia (St. Paul) is tied for ninth at 219.