With the return to classes just one week away the winter sports seasons are reawaking from their holiday break and the action is once again picking up. Both hockey teams and basketball teams are back in action this weekend as is the Gopher Wrestling team taking on the #1 team in the nation. Add in a little early season gymnastics and indoor track action and it is a fun week to watch some Minnesota Gophers sports this weekend. Here is how you can do so in person or from your couch!
Friday January 7th
Gymnastics—Intersquad Meet—Noon BTN+
The Gopher gymnastics kicks off their season with their annual intersquad meet on Friday afternoon. Consider it a dress rehearsal for the season with all of the Gopher athletes going through their competition routines and auditioning for those last few main roster spots. It’s preparation for when Minnesota will officially open the season next weekend hosting UCLA in a big non-conference duel. Friday’s action begins at Noon and will be streamed live on BTN+, or is free to attend in person at the Pav.
Men’s Hockey @ Michigan State 5:30 PM BTN
The Gopher men open the 2022 portion of the Big Ten schedule with a series at Michigan State. A full series preview is here. Game action begins at 5:30 on Big Ten Network.
Wrestling @ #1 Iowa 8PM BTN
It’s a Gopher doubleheader on BTN tonight as the hockey game will go right into wrestling where the #14 Gophers will face off against #1 Iowa at Carver Hawkeye Arena. There will be one Hodge Trophy winner in action as Gable Steveson returns to the map for Minnesota after sitting out several of the non-conference duals and tournaments. But one will be missing as Iowa All-American Spencer Lee will miss the dual as he is having season ending knee surgery. Unfortunately for Minnesota, Iowa is still extremely deep. Minnesota last defeated Iowa in 2014 and fell to the Hawkeyes in a 35-4 route last season.
The Gophers will have an edge is three of the ten matches with #7 Patrick McKee facing off against unranked Jesse Ybarra at 125 pounds, #5 Brayton Lee facing off against #15 Kaleb Young at 157 pounds, and at Heavyweight where #1 Gable Steveson will most likely once again toy around with #5 Tony Cassioppi against who he is 4-0 all-time. Even missing Lee, Iowa still brings 3 top 5 wrestlers and 8 of their ten in the top 15 into the meet.
Action begins at 8 PM live on BTN and streaming on the Fox Sports App.
Saturday January 8th
Indoor Track and Field—Minnesota Open 11AM
The Gopher Indoor Track and Field team will host the Minnesota Open at the Fieldhouse on Saturday. The now female only team has not been in action since December 3rd where they won six titles at the South Dakota State Holiday Invite.
Women’s Hockey vs St. Thomas 4PM Bally Sports North
The Gopher women’s hockey team opens the 2022 portion of their schedule by facing new WCHA opponent St. Thomas for the first time. There will be many familiar faces on the opposite bench as former Gopher assist coach Joel Johnson is now the head coach of the Tommies with fellow ex-Gopher assistant Bethany Brausen his top assistant.
Minnesota is 14-5-1 on the season and is ranked #5 in the nation. The Gophers are in third place in the WCHA with 30 points, ten back of Ohio State and Wisconsin. The Tommies in their first year as a DI program are 4-13-1 on the season with conference wins over Bemidji State and St. Cloud State. Given the Gophers track records against WCHA teams not named Wisconsin, Ohio State, or UMD, it should be a rough welcome to the rivalry for UST this weekend.
Saturday’s game will air live on Bally Sports North with Dan Hamman and former Gopher Sydney Baldwin on the call.
Men’s Hockey @ Michigan State 6:30Pm BTN
The Gophers and Spartans will complete their two game series in East Lansing at 6:30 Saturday night with the game once again on BTN.
Sunday January 9th
Men’s Basketball @ Indiana 11AM BTN
It’s Brunch in Bloomington as the Gopher men’s basketball team will head to Indiana to take on the Hoosiers at 11AM on Sunday. Minnesota is coming off of a tough loss to Illinois at home Tuesday night while Indiana enters the game on a high note after knocking off #16 Ohio State earlier in the week. Make some pancakes, grab the making for a mimosa or bloody mary or two and see if the Gophers can find a way to get on the right side of the win column again.
Wrestling vs Northwestern 1PM BTN+
The Gopher wrestling team returns home after their Friday night tilt with #1 Iowa to Host #23 Northwestern at the Pav. Action begins at 1 PM and will stream live on BTN+.
Swimming @ UC San Diego 1PM FREE STREAM
The Gopher swimming and diving teams are back in action for he first time in 2022 as they head to sunny So Cal for a dual meet against UC San Diego. The Gopher men come into the meet with a 2-1 record and the #20 ranked womens team is 3-1 with both losses coming to Wisconsin. The action will begin at 1:00 PM and can be streamed for free on the UCSD website HERE.
Women’s Hockey @ St. Thomas 2PM BTN+
The Gophers and Tommies complete their home and home series with the two teams facing off at the St. Thomas Ice Arena in Mendota Heights on Sunday afternoon at 2PM. The game will stream live on BTN+.
Women’s Basketball vs Maryland 2:00 PM BTN+
The Gopher women’s basketball team returns home after opening 2022 with a big road win at Rutgers on Thursday night. Minnesota won 62-49 and were led by Jasmine Powell who scored 19 for the Gophers. Lindsay Whalen missed the game for Minnesota after undergoing surgery Tuesday night for a ruptured appendix. It’s not known if she will be back on the bench for Sunday’s game or not. The Gophers get a very tough task as #10 Maryland comes to the Barn on Sunday. The Terps are coming off of a 106-78 win over Penn State on Thursday. The game will stream live on BTN+.