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Badgers to play for Big Ten title, Gophers lose to OSU

ST. PAUL - The University of Wisconsin men's hockey team will take on Ohio State in the first-ever Big Ten Hockey Tournament Championship Saturday evening at 7 p.m. at the Xcel Energy Center.

TheNo. 6 ranked Badgers downed Penn State 2-1 in the afternoon semifinal and No. 1 Minnesota was upset by Ohio State 3-1 in the evening semifinal Friday.

A pair of goals from Michael Mersch sent the Badgers, 23-10-2 overall, into the Big Ten championship tonight against Ohio State.  Goaltender Joel Rumpel wrapped up his 20th win of the season, finishing with 24 saves on 25 shots.  The Gophers' lone goal in their game came from Kyle Rau on a power play in the second period, which tied the game 1-1. But the Buckeyes' Ryan Dzingel broke the tie with goal in the third period and OSU, 18-13-5, scored an empty net goal as well. Adam Wilcox made 22 saves for Minnesota, 25-5-6 overall, while winning goalie Christian Frey made 30.
 Wisconsin could secure a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament with a win and a Ferris State loss in the WCHA Final Five final this evening vs. Minnesota State, which is being played in Grand Rapids, Mich.  Ohio State can only get into the NCAA Tournament with a win tonight which secures an automatic berth.  Minnesota should still receive a No. 1 seed and will host the NCAA West Regional next weekend in St. Paul.