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Minnesota Hockey: Gophers Host Wisconsin in the Border Battle

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Its a big weekend for both teams

Rem Pitlick and the Gophers will try and beat the Badgers
gophersports.com

It’s a short preview this week as Job A duties took over.

The Minnesota Golden Gophers hockey team will look to recover from a disastrous weekend last weekend against Michigan State by hosting the rival Wisconsin Badgers at Mariucci Arena. This weekend could be the final nail in the coffin of both team’s NCAA at-large bid chances, so both teams will want to try and get as many points as possible.

About Minnesota:

The Gophers come in off of getting swept by last place Michigan State in East Lansing last weekend. It was inexcusable for this team after sweeping Notre Dame on the road the week before. The Gophers still remain in a tie for second place with Michigan in the Big Ten standings with 21 points, but just four points separate those two teams and Penn State and Wisconsin who are tied for last place in the conference with 17 points.

The Gophers currently also sit in 25th in the pairwise after last weekend and a sweep at the hand of the #30 Badgers would all but eliminate the Gophers from NCAA at-large bid considerations. So yeah, its a big weekend for the Gophers.

About Wisconsin:

The Badgers sit in a tie for 6th place in the Big Ten with 17 points, but have two games in hand over most of the rest of the teams in the conference. Last weekend the Badgers lost at home, and tied at the United Center to Notre Dame. They currently have a 8-10-4 overall record and are an even 4-4-4 in Big Ten play. That included a split with the Gophers in Madison in November with Minnesota wining Friday 3-2 and the Badgers returning the favor 3-1 on Saturday. The Badgers have not won a game since finishing off a sweep of Michigan State on December 8th.

Wisconsin sits at 30th in the pairwise and virtually needs to win their last 12 games to earn an NCAA at-large bid, so it will be interesting to see how the Badgers play with their backs against the wall.

Wisconsin’s leading scorer is Minnetonka native K’Andre Miller who has 18 points on the season as a defenseman. Sean Dhoggie leads the team with nine goals. In net Wisconsin has struggled with a platoon of Jack Berry and Daniel Lebedeff. Both have identical .897 save percentages and Lebedeff has a slightly better goals against average at 2.89 compared to Berry’s 3.16. I expect Lebedeff to get the start on Friday.

News and Notes:

Saturday night the Gophers will honor the 1979 NCAA Championship team with the celebration. Throwback concessions are available and the team will be honored during the first intermission and sign autographs during the second intermission.

And it looks like it should be rocking!

Here are the Friday night lines for the Gophers:

HOW TO WATCH:

Wisconsin Badgers @ Minnesota Golden Gophers

Where: Mariucci Arena, Minneapolis, Minnesota

When: 7PM Friday/Saturday

TV: FSN+ Friday/ FSN Saturday

Stream: Fox Sports Go

Radio: 1130 AM/ 103.5 FM/ I Heart Radio App