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The Big Ten is expanding — in hockey.

Conference officials told The Minneapolis Star-Tribune Notre Dame would become the league's seventh team in the 2017-18 season.

“We’re looking at it as a step that will assist our schools and help us become even more competitive nationally,” Big Ten hockey deputy commissioner Brad Traviolia said.

Notre Dame is leaving Hockey East. It has played in leagues with all of the Big Ten teams except for Penn State.

Tom Nevala, Notre Dame's senior associate athletic director overseeing men's hockey, said: "There is great excitement because we're renewing the rivalries that we cherish.”

The Big Ten's current teams are Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Penn State and Ohio State.