For the first time in program history, Penn State has claimed the Big Ten regular season title. With wins from Wisconsin, Michigan State, and Michigan on Friday night, the Nittany Lions retained the No. 1 seed and a first round bye in the Big Ten Tournament.
Following a Senior Night win over the Golden Gophers, the Nittany Lions held a four point lead over Ohio State and Minnesota and a six point lead over Notre Dame. As the only Big Ten team not in action over the final weekend of the regular season, the Nittany Lions got the help they needed.
The regular season title guarantees Penn State home ice advantage throughout the Big Ten Tournament. Should the Nittany Lions defeat their semifinal opponent, Pegula Ice Arena would host the Big Ten Tournament championship game on March 21.
The summary of events also blesses — and possibly curses — the Nittany Lions with a second consecutive bye week. While the likes of Connor McMenamin will have added time to recover from injury, the Nittany Lions will go three weeks between their season finale and the tournament semifinals.
Penn State’s highest finish prior to this title was a third place finish in 2015-16. The Nittany Lions have finished fourth in three consecutive seasons.
With Michigan’s 2-1 win over Minnesota on Saturday night, Penn State has secured its first ever outright Big Ten regular season title. The Nittany Lions finished three points ahead of the Wolverines, Golden Gophers, and Ohio State.