The Big Ten will hold its 2021 hockey tournament on March 18-20 at Notre Dame's Compton Family Ice Arena, with all seven conference teams participating in a single-elimination event, sources confirmed.
The tournament will consist of six games — three quarterfinals on Thursday, March 18, with the regular-season champion receiving a bye into the semifinals; two semifinals on March 19; and the championship on March 20. It's a return to a similar format the Big Ten used in its first four seasons in which its six-team, single-elimination tournament rotated between St. Paul and Detroit.
In the past three years, the Big Ten has staged its tournament over three weekends at campus sites, with a best-of-three quarterfinal round on the first weekend, followed by single-elimination semifinals and championship over the next two weeks.
Putting the tournament at Notre Dame provides a central location, with four of the six teams needing to travel 250 miles or less. Penn State (480 miles from South Bend) and Minnesota (500) will have to travel the longest distances.
Notre Dame has won the past two Big Ten tournaments that were completed, in 2018 and '19. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, last year's tourney was canceled two days before semifinal games were to be played. The Gophers, who won the 2015 tournament and were runners-up in 2016, edged Notre Dame in three games in the quarterfinals last year and were to play at Penn State in the semis.
The Big Ten has not announced its decision or time and TV broadcast details.
• Gophers junior forward Blake McLaughlin was named the Big Ten's First Star of the Week, and senior forward Brannon McManus was named Second Star after the Gophers' 10-0, 10-2 sweep of Arizona State. McLaughlin collected seven points, scoring two goals and assisting on two in the opener, then adding two goals and an assist in the finale. McManus had a hat trick and an assist in the opener, then had a goal and an assist in the series finale. Penn State forward Connor McMenamin was the Big Ten's Third Star after collecting five points, including a game-winning goal, in a split with Wisconsin.
• St. Cloud State's Nolan Walker was named NCHC forward of the week, Nick Perbix was named defenseman of the week and Veeti Miettinen was named rookie of the week for their efforts in the Huskies' sweep of Miami (Ohio). Walker had four goals and five points in Saturday's 8-2 win, with both totals matching the NCHC single-game record. Perbix had two assists in each game and led a penalty kill that finished 7-for-8. Miettinen had a goal and an assist in each game. North Dakota's Adam Scheel was named goaltender of the week.
• In the WCHA, Minnesota State's Walker Duehr was the forward of the week after getting three points in a sweep of Ferris State. Bemidji State's Kyle Looft was the defenseman of the week with a pair of assists in a sweep of Bowling Green, and teammate Zach Driscoll was goalie of the week after holding the Falcons to two goals in two games. Michigan Tech's Arvid Caderoth was freshman of the week after scoring his first career goal.