The week before Thanksgiving has arrived, and the Minnesota Gophers fall and winter sports are in full swing. Saturday will be one of the busiest days for Gopher athletics in some time, and we have all your details on how to see all of the action here. Two Gopher teams go for an NCAA Championship Saturday morning, while an NCAA and Olympic Champion steps back onto the mat for the first time since Tokyo Saturday night. Throw in four hockey games, a couple of basketball games and a huge home volleyball finale....whew.
Check out the previews and schedules below on how you can keep up with all the action from your couch, or from campus.
Friday November 19th:
Women’s Hockey @ St. Cloud State 6PM—BTN+
The Gopher women open a home and home series with St. Cloud State in the Granite City on Friday night. Minnesota is off of a weekend where they crushed RIT in a home sweep by a combined score of 17-1. The Huskies will give a bit more of a challenge this weekend, but probably not much more. Minnesota is on a 17 game winning streak against SCSU and has not lost to the Huskies since 2010. They are 96-3-3 all time in the series. Faceoff is at 6PM and will stream on BTN+.
Men’s Basketball vs Purdue-Fort Wayne 6PM-BTN+
Ben Johnson and the Gopher men will look to improve their record to 4-0 when they host Purdue-Fort Wayne at the Barn on Friday night. Minnesota is 3-0 after winning the Ashville Championship last weekend and now returns home for a pair of winnable non-conferecne games in a row—the first against the Mastodons....Mastodons??? Friday night. It will be the first ever meeting between the Gophers and their Horizon League foe, but Minnesota is 18-3 all time against Horizon League teams. PFW is 2-0 on the season after an opening win over Earlham and then a 65-60 win over Austin Peay on Tuesday night. The Mastodons are led by a trio of players averaging double figures in Ra Kpedi , Jarred Godfrey and Jalon Pipkins. Tip is at 6:00 and will stream on BTN+.
Men’s Hockey vs Penn State 7PM— Bally Sports North
The Gopher men will try and avoid their Friday fails of the last two weekends when they host Penn State for the first of two games this weekend at 3M Arena at Mariucci. Minnesota has spilt with Big Ten foes Wisconsin and Ohio State the past two weekends by blowing leads on Friday night before playing well and getting the win on Saturday. It will be the final pair of home games for the Gophers in 2021 as they close with a pair of tough road series at North Dakota and Michigan before breaking for finals and the Holidays.
Minnesota swept the Nittany Lions exactly a year ago at home last season in the only two meetings between the teams after the return trip to Pennsylvania was derailed by COVID. Minnesota has still struggled to adapt to the Nittany Lions in the Big Ten as the Gophers only hold a 17-15-1 edge in the series all-time. The Nittany Lions will be desperate for a win as they are currently 0-4 in the conference this season after being swept in back to back weekends by Ohio State and Michigan. The Gophers meanwhile want to try and keep pace with the Wolverines at the top of the conference standings. Minnesota is currently two points behind Michigan with each having played a quarter of their conference games this season.
Penn State is led by Kevin Wall who has 11 points on the season, and has split time in net between Oskar Autio and Liam Souliere. Face-off Friday night begins at 7PM and will air on Bally Sports North and stream on BTN+.
Saturday November 20th
Cross-Country @ NCAA Championships 9:20 AM—ESPNU
The Minnesota cross-country teams will run in the NCAA Championships Saturday morning in Tallahassee, Florida. The #5 ranked Gopher women will hit the 6k course first starting at 9:20 AM. The #27 ranked men will hit the 10K course at 10:10 AM.
The Gopher women will try and improve on their program best 5th place performance in last season’s championships held last spring. Their top competition will come from the four teams ahead of them in the rankings—NC State, New Mexico, Colorado, and BYU. Minnesota defeated #6 ranked Oklahoma State in the Midwest Regional last weekend.
The Gopher men will compete in their first NCAA Championships since 2015. Their most recent top finish was an 8th place result in 2007, but that task will be much tougher Saturday.
Both races can be viewed live on ESPNU and streamed on the ESPN app.
Women’s Basketball vs UCONN @ Battle 4 Atlantis 11AM-Flohoops
The Gopher women’s basketball team have won three games in a row after dropping their season opener, and if they can make it four wins in a row it would certainly turn some heads. Minnesota is in the Bahamas for the Women’s Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament this weekend and they will open play against #2 UCONN on Saturday morning. It will be the third meeting between the two teams and the first since Lindsay Whalen was on the court when Minnesota and UCONN faced off in the 2004 Women’s Final Four semifinal.
The biggest question for the Gophers will be who will be the one to try and stop Minnesota native and reigning NCAA Player of the year Paige Bueckers for the Huskies. The short answer....it won’t be easy. Unfortunately there is no TV of this event, the only way to watch is to play for a stream on Flohoops. You can catch Justin Gaard on the radio call of the game on KFAN+ 96.7 FM in the Twin Cities, or on the I heart Radio App.
Football @ Indiana 2:30 PM—BTN
The Gopher football team will play their final road regular season game of the year in Bloomington, Indiana against the Indiana Hoosiers Saturday afternoon. Minnesota is coming off of two heartbreaking losses in a row to Illinois and Iowa and will hopefully use Saturday’s game to get their confidence back against a poor Hoosiers team. A full preview of the game is HERE. Kickoff is set for 2:30 and will air on BTN.
Women’s Hockey vs St. Cloud State 3PM—BTN+
The Gophers and Huskies head down I-94 for the second of the home and home series, this time at Ridder Arena. The game will also serve as the 2021 U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Museum Women’s Face-Off Classic. It will be the second time that the Gophers have participated in the USHHOF game. The Gophers participated in the event in 2019, defeating Minnesota State 4-0 at Dakotah! Ice Center in Prior Lake, Minn. A variety of special guests, including Gopher alumnae Krissy Wendell-Pohl and Natalie Darwitz will be honored during the second intermission. World Series champion Kent Hrbek will drop the puck to kick-off the festivities. The game will have a special focus on Minnesotans suffering from and charities supporting those with ALS. Faceoff is at 3:00 PM and will stream on BTN+.
Wrestling vs Oklahoma State 7PM—BTN
The #11 Gopher wrestling team opens their home season Saturday night when they host #6 Oklahoma State at the Pav. Minnesota will honor 2021 NCAA and Olympic Champion Gable Steveson before the meet raising his NCAA Championship banner. It will be the first match back for Steveson since the Tokyo Olympics.
Minnesota has lost three straight to the Cowboys with their most recent win coming in 2014. There is a potential for four matches with ranked opponents going against one another as at 125 Pounds, #5 Patrick McKee for Minnesota square off against NCAA qualifier and No. 18 Trevor Mastrogiovanni. At 157 pounds we could see Minnesota’s #5 Brayton Lee face OSU’s #14 Wyatt Sheets. At 165 pounds it could be #18 Andrew Sheets for the Gophers against #7 Travis Wittlake for the Cowboys, and finally at 174 the duel may come down to who wins between Minnesota’s #20 Jared Krattiger and OSU’s #19 Dustin Plott. The match begins at 7:00 and will air live on BTN.
Men’s Hockey vs Penn State 8PM Bally Sports North
The Gophers play their final home game of 2021 Saturday night against the Nittany Lions. Minnesota will be honoring all three 1970’s era NCAA Championships Teams as the 1974, 1976, and 1979 teams will have a reunion as well as honoring the 100th birthday of former Gopher team and more famously US national Team Dr. V. George Nagobads. Nagobads served as Gopher Hockey’s team physician from 1958 until his retirement in 1992 – helping Minnesota to the program’s first three national titles in 1974, 1976 and 1979.
His largest contributions to hockey in the United States may have come on the international stage, however. Nagobads was named the team physician for five U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Teams (1968, 1972, 1980, 1984, and 1988); including the “Miracle on Ice” squad that won the gold medal at the 1980 Olympic Winter Games in Lake Placid and the silver medal-winning 1972 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team that competed in Sapporo. Minnesota will honor him after the first period on Saturday. The game begins at 8PM and will air on Bally Sports North,
Sunday November 21st
Wrestling @ Daktronics Open-Brookings, SD 10AM
Immediately after their match against Oklahoma State is over the Gophers will head to Brookings South Dakota for the Daktronics Open Sunday morning. Minnesota will face wrestlers from South Dakota State and Nebraska at the event which will stream live on FloWrestling.
Women’s Basketball vs South Florida or Syracuse 4PM FloHoops
The Gopher women will play their second game of the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament Sunday. If Minnesota somehow upsets #2 UCONN, the Gophers would play at 11AM Sunday morning. Much more likely the Gophers will face the loser of South Florida and Syracuse at 4PM Sunday afternoon. The game will once again stream on FloHoops.
Volleyball vs Wisconsin 4PM BTN
The Gopher volleyball team will finish off the proper portion of the weekend with a massive match against #5 Wisconsin at the Pav Sunday afternoon. Minnesota still has a chance at the Big Ten crown as they are just one game behind Wisconsin and Nebraska at the top of the conference standings with three matches left to play. The Gophers were awarded a forfeit for what would have been an easy victory over Rutgers on Friday when the Scarlet Knights could not make the trip due to non-COVID related illnesses. Rutgers was 0-16 in the conference prior to this weekend’s matches against Minnesota and Nebraska which were cancelled.
Minnesota was to celebrate senior night on Friday, but will now do it after the Wisconsin match. Minnesota will honor four seniors, setter Bayley McMenemin, middle hitter Katie Myers, and outside hitters Airi Miyabe and Stephanie Samedy.
The Gophers lost 3-0 to Wisconsin in Madison earlier this season, but if they can find a way to get the win on Sunday will be right in the conference hunt. Nebraska is 14-3 after their forfeit win against Rutgers and they host 12-4 Penn State in Lincoln Friday night. Wisconsin is 13-3 and should pick up a win over Michigan State in Madison Friday night before making the trip to Minneapolis. Minnesota is 13-4 after their forfeit win and would be tied with Wisconsin if they can defeat the Badgers Sunday.
The final weekend gets crazy as Nebraska and Wisconsin play next Friday and the Cornhuskers head to fellow 12-4 team Purdue on Saturday while Wisconsin get an easy win over Indiana. Minnesota will hit the road to Maryland and Penn State to end the season.
TL;DR the Gophers need to beat the Badgers Sunday. The match begins at 4PM and will air live on BTN.
Monday November 22nd:
Women’s Basketball vs Oregon/Oklahoma/South Carolina/Buffalo 4/6:30 PM
The Gopher women will compete the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament Monday night in most likely the 5th or 7th place game. Minnesota will face one of Oregon, Oklahoma, South Carolina or Buffalo. Once again the only stream will be a paid one on FloHoops.