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Minnesota Hockey: Rivalry Weekend Preview

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The Gopher men head to Grand Forks while the Women ride up I-35 to Duluth

Eric Schierhorn has started 79 consecutive games and counting for the Gophers
gophersports.com

Both the Gopher Men’s and Women’s Hockey Teams have big rivalry tests on the road this weekend. The Men head up to Grand Forks for their first series at North Dakota since 2012, while the Women head up I-35 for a big WCHA series in Duluth against UMD.

The Men are coming off of a split with Penn State last weekend which saw the Gophers lose the opener 3-1 on Friday and come back and win 6-3 on Sunday. Freshman Brannon McManus scored a hat trick in the third period of Sunday’s game to lead Minnesota to the win. Gopher goalie Eric Schierhorn started both games and brought his consecutive start tally to 79 games, setting the all-time Minnesota record in the process.

The Gopher women swept Bemidji State by scores of 3-1 and 4-3 in overtime at Ridder Arena. Captain Sydney Baldwin scored the game winning goal in overtime for Minnesota.

The #8 Minnesota Golden Gophers men will head up to Grand Forks for the first time since 2012 this weekend to play against #4 North Dakota. The Fighting Hawks made the trip down to Mariucci last season where the two teams fought to a 5-5 tie on Friday before Minnesota won the finale 2-0.

The Gophers will most likely be without the services of captain Tyler Sheehy who missed last weekend with an undisclosed injury as well. Additionally freshman Scott Reedy is not expected to be available this weekend after getting injured in the Friday night Penn State game and missing Sunday’s finale.

North Dakota comes into the weekend at 3-0-1 after sweeping St. Lawrence at home and winning and tying against Alaska Anchorage in Alaska. The Fighting Hawks return Cam Johnson in net. The senior ranks 9th all time in wins for the Fighting Hawks, and has the lowest career goals against average of any goalie for UND. Collins Adams has a pair of goals to lead the Fighting Hawks this season, but five players all have three points all ready for UND.

The Gophers come in at 2-2 after a split with Penn State and a loss to UMD and win over Union in the Icebreaker Classic. Tommy Novak and Rem Pitlick each have four points so far for the Gophers to lead the team. Other than McMannus’s hat trick, Casey Mittelstadt is the only other Gopher with more than one goal.

Unfortunately for Gopher fans, it will be another weekend where it will not be easy to watch the Gophers play a rival on TV in the Twin Cities. The games will air in North Dakota and northwestern MInnesota on Midco Sports Network. While several Twin Cities cable carriers showed interest in airing the games, thus far Midco only has an agreement with Mediacom. If you don’t have one of those two cable providers...no tv for you.

Your lone other option is to but a monthly pass for North Dakota on nchc.tv. For $20 you will get to stream both games this weekend. Friday night’s game faces off at 7:30, while Saturday’s will begin at 7. As always you can listen to Wally and Frank on 1130 AM or 103.5 FM or via the IHeart Radio App.

The #7 Gopher women meanwhile have a big WCHA series against the #8 Bulldogs from UMD. Both teams are missing players who are trying to make the 2018 US and Canadian Olympic rosters. UMD is missing goaltender Maddie Rooney, who was the WCHA Player of the Year last season. UMD is missing her as they come into the weekend with a 2-4 record after being swept the past two weeks by Boston College and Ohio State.

UMD is rolling with Mercyhurt transfer Jessica Convery in net. She comes in with a .909 save percentage and a 2.03 goals against average. Sophomore Sydney Brodt leads the Bulldogs with six points on the season.

Minnesota meanwhile righted the shit last weekend with a sweep of Bemidi State after a slow start to the season. The Gophers used senior Sidney peters in goal both games last weekend and she brought home six points. It would be expected she would start at least Friday’s game in net. Offensively Baldwin leads the team with 9 points, and freshman Grace Zumwinkle has four goals, all on the power play to lead the nation in power-play goals.

Friday’s game will air on MY9 TV in Duluth, and both games will stream on NCHC.tv for a fee. The games will face off at 3:30 both Friday and Saturday..