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Minnesota Hockey Open Thread: Men vs Beavers, Women vs UND

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Two games tonight....we're back baby!

Kyle Rau leads the Gophers with 8 points against the Beavers
Kyle Rau leads the Gophers with 8 points against the Beavers
Gopher Mens Hockey Facebook Page

Welcome back to our first dual game thread of the season!  Feel free to comment on both games tonight!

Gopher Women:

#9 North Dakota (4-2) at #1 Minnesota (5-0-1)

Location: Ridder Arena

Gametime: 7:07 PM

TV: None

Live Stream: BTN + $$$ required

Audio: Free Streaming Audio

Live Stats: GameTracker

Preview:

The #1 Gophers come back to Ridder Arena after a weekend sweep of formerly #1 Wisconsin in Madison.  The Gophers won 4-1 on Friday night on the strength of a hat trick by Dani Cameranesi, and won 2-1 in overtime on Saturday on a late power play goal by Rachael Bona and the overtime winner by Rachel Ramsey.

North Dakota comes into Ridder coming off of a split with UMD in Duluth.  Junior Becca Kohler leads the team with 10 points.  They have the third best penalty kill in the nation at 96.2%, and the second best power-play in the nation at 29.4%. The Gophers lead the nation with an amazing 41.7% success on the power-play.  Whomever wins the special teams battle this weekend will most likely win the series.

The Gophers have the significant edge in the series leading North Dakota 43-6 all-time.  The Gophers went 4-1 against UND last season splitting at home before sweeping UND in Grand Forks and in the WCHA Final Face-off.

Gopher Men:

Bemidji State (1-1) at #1 Minnesota (2-0)

Location: Mariucci Arena

Gametime: 8:12 PM

TV: Big Ten Network

Live Stream: BTN2GO

Audio: AM1500 ESPN Free Online Stream

Live Stats: GameTracker

Preview:

The #1 Gophers are coming off of a bye week after they won the IceBreaker Classic for the second consecutive year the weekend before.  The Gophers defeated UMD 5-4 on Friday before beating RPI in the Championship game 3-0 on Sunday.  Kyle Rau had four points on the weekend for the Gophers, while Sunday Adam Wilcox recorded his 8th career shutout as a Gopher tying him for 2nd on the all-time list with Adam Hauser.

The Gophers will hold a special pre-game ceremony tonight to raise their 2013-14 Big Ten Champions banner, and the first 1,500 people at tonight's game will get a commemorative poster.

Bemidji State is coming off a bye weekend as well after a spit with #3 North Dakota.  The Beavers shocked UMD in Grand Forks 5-1 on Friday before losing in Bemidji on Saturday 2-1.  The Beavers have two players with two points each in Brendan Harmes and Markus Gerbrandt.  Micheal Bitzer started the Beaver's win over UND, while Andrew Walsh played in Saturday's loss.  It can be assumed that both goalies will split the series again this weekend.

Once again like the Gopher Women, the Gophers have a significant series lead against the Beavers.  The Gophers are 16-1-1 all-time against Bemidji State with their only loss coming at Mariucci on November 15, 2009.  The Gophers went 2-0 against the Beavers last season winning both games in Bemidji.  Kyle Rau leads the team in scoring against Bemidji with eight points, while Ben Marshall has seven.  However, Justin Kloos is right on their tail with five points in the series in Bemidji last fall, his only two games against BSU.

I will be giving updates live from Ridder Arena and the Gopher Women's game against North Dakota this evening, but you will be on your own for the Men's game.  Hopefully both teams can come away with convincing wins tonight!  Ski-U-Mah!