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2016 Big Ten Hockey Conference Tournament Bracket Announced

Nathan Wells/SBN College Hockey

The road to St. Paul is now known.

All six spots for the 2016 Big Ten men's ice hockey tournament have been clinched. The tournament runs from Thursday March 17-19 at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. All five games will be broadcast on BTN.

It's a return to the "State of Hockey" after last year's version was contested in Detroit.

For the second straight season, Minnesota took until the final day of the regular season to win the Big Ten regular season championship. The Gophers claimed the title and #1 overall seed Saturday, defeating Wisconsin 4-1 at Mariucci Arena to edge out second place Michigan by a point.

Minnesota remains the only team to have claimed the Big Ten crown in the three years the conference has sponsored men's hockey.

The Wolverines are the second seed and, like Minnesota, will receive a bye from Thursday's games.

Penn State finished third and will open the Big Ten tournament with a 4:00 pm CT game Thursday against sixth seed Wisconsin. Fourth seed Ohio State and fifth seed Michigan State will play at 7:30 p.m. CT Thursday in a rematch of the 2014 first round 4-5 game between the two. In that game, OSU won in OT en route to the Big Ten championship game.

To the winner goes an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Only Michigan will currently make the NCAA Tournament as an at-large bid.

The full bracket:

2016 B1G Hockey Bracket