Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Conference championships: B1G tourny & B1G trophy

By Jessi Pierce

Whew, where did the season go? Lots to be excited about with conference tournaments underway and even more to be excited about with the impending Frozen Four in Pittsburgh fast approaching.

Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ohio State and Michigan are still in action in semifinals this week in their respective conferences. Michigan State was bounced by Miami and Penn State played this year with no conference affiliation.

The Gophs got a share of the McNaughton Cup as WCHA regular season co-champs and I have to hand it to Wisco for coming back huge toward the end of the season. The Badgers went from the bottom of the barrel to contender for NCAA. Likewise Ohio State and Michigan have pulled off decent seasons too, but both enter the CCHA tournament underdogs against opponents Notre Dame and Miami.

Of course for fans this year's conference tournys will be extra bittersweet. The CCHA folds up shop and the WCHA Frozen Five will never look the same.

And of course it begs us to look forward to next year. In an effort to further hype up next year's "B1G" change in the college hockey landscape, ticket information for the Big Ten Conference championships was released today (decently priced, but c'mon really?).

Earlier this month the Big Ten also released what our favorite six teams will be playing for next year. As everything surrounding Big Ten hockey has been, there are mixed reactions on the futuristic looking trophy. Dubbed simply the Big Ten trophy until a name is decided on, it has fans chattering.

Ultimately conference tournaments mean the Big Ten is up next. We've had two years to become comfortable with it, so the B1G question is: are you?

Follow Jessi Pierce on Twitter at @jessi_pierce and this blog at @B1GIH

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