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Biggest Penn State hockey game ever?

Penn State's Big Ten tournament quarterfinal matchup - which will be their third straight game against the Wolverines - could potentially be the difference in the Nittany Lions' bid to make their first-ever NCAA tournament.

UNIVERSITY PARK -- The Penn State men's hockey team leaves for Detroit Wednesday where they will face Michigan in the first round of the Big Ten tournament Thursday night.

The quarterfinal matchup - which will be their third straight game against the Wolverines - could potentially be the difference in the Nittany Lions' bid to make their first-ever NCAA tournament.

Penn State seemed secure in their efforts to make the 16-team field, but after getting swept by Michigan this past weekend in the regular season finale, Thursday's conference tourney game is now carrying more weight.

The Nittany Lions are tied for 12th in the latest Pairwise rankings, which are considered the most accurate predictor of the NCAA tournament field.

"I would've taken this any day of the week if you would've told me this is where we'd be in August," sophomore forward Andrew Sturtz said.

"Anyone can win any game from here on out. I think we're in a good spot. It's on us to have a good week of practice and it's on us to show up Thursday and be prepared and ready to go."

The puck drops for Thursday's quarterfinal at 8 p.m. at Joe Louis Arena.


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