It’s nearly mid-December and we have reached the end of the semester for the Minnesota Golden Gophers student athletes. There will still be some games and events over the next couple of weeks, but this is the final full weekend of action before the Gophers take their breaks for finals and for the Holidays. But, there is tons of action at home this week, so if you are in the Minneapolis area, you should head to campus and check some games/meets out!
Friday December 8th:
Women’s Track and Field: M City Classic U of M Fieldhouse 10:30 AM
The Gopher women’s indoor track and field team kicks off their season this weekend by hosting the M City Classic at the U of M Fieldhouse. The event will feature both men’s and women’s teams, but obviously only the U women will compete in the indoor season. The Gophers return several All-Big Ten performers including NCAA runner-up Shelby Frank in the weight throw and national 6th place finisher high jumper Nyalaam Jok.
Action begins at 10:30 on Friday and no video streaming is available, but live results will be available HERE. Admission is free.
Men’s Hockey @ Ohio State 5:30 PM BTN
The Gopher men’s hockey team closes out the 2023 portion of their schedule on the road in Columbus against the last place Ohio State Buckeyes. Minnesota has had an up and down season thus far and currently sits 10th in the national polls after a split at Penn State last weekend. Minnesota currently sits in 4th place in the Big Ten with 11 points with a lot of work to do in 2024 to try and catch Michigan State and Wisconsin atop the standings. They can boost those chances by earning a huge sweep on the road this weekend against a weaker than average Buckeye team.
Minnesota really has struggled to put together a complete weekend. They will play one great game and look poor the second night. They have not earned a series sweep since their season opening series against St. Thomas. This weekend is a great chance to earn six conference points and put themselves in a good spot headed into the second half of the season in 2024. Face off of Friday’s game will be at 5:30 PM and will air live on Big Ten Network.
Women’s Hockey vs Wisconsin 6 PM B1G +
Speaking of huge hockey series, the Gopher women will host Wisconsin in a top 3 matchup this weekend at Ridder Arena. The teams flipped spots in the national rankings this week with Minnesota moving up to #2 after a sweep of Bemidji State and the Badgers dropping to #3 after a split with Minnesota-Duluth in Madison. The Badgers have actually lost three of their last four games after getting swept by #1 Ohio State in Columbus the week before.
Minnesota already started their week off on a bit of a slow start by tieing #8 St. Cloud State 1-1 in St. Cloud on Tuesday night. Minnesota earned the extra WCHA point in the shootout on a goal by 4th line center Allie Franco. Minnesota sits in second place in the conference standings one point behind the Buckeyes and two ahead of the Badgers—so this weekend there is lots on the line.
Minnesota will be looking to get revenge against the Badgers for knocking them out of the NCAA Tournament a year ago in overtime. The Gophers have struggled against Wisconsin in recent seasons and went 0-2-2 a season ago in the regular season to go with the OT loss in he Frozen Four semifinal. Wisconsin gets a healthy roster back for this weekend as well as sophomore defender KK Harvey who scored the OT winner against Minnesota a season ago returned to the lineup last weekend after missing a month with a leg injury.
It will be a match up of strengths this weekend as Wisconsin leads the nation in scoring, registering 89 goals through 16 games played. However, Minnesota’s defense has allowed more than one goal in just two games this season. Minnesota would love to come out of this weekend with at least a split, and stay ahead of the Badgers in the standings as they enter 2024. Faceoff of Friday’s opener is set for 6PM at Ridder with tickets available. The game will stream on B1G+.
Saturday December 9th:
Men’s Basketball vs Florida Gulf Coast 11 AM BTN
Minnesota returns to non-conference play after splitting their Big Ten openers last week losing at Columbus before a great come from behind win over Nebraska at the Barn on Wednesday night. FGCU comes into Williams Arena with a 3-7 record on the season with their only wins over non-DI schools Ave Maria and New College of Florida along with at Florida International. They have Power 5 losses to Indiana, Pitt and Cincinnati on their schedule and Minnesota should add to that Saturday. Tip is set for 11 AM with tickets still available. The game will air on Big Ten Network.
Women’s Gymnastics Intersquad Meet 1 PM B1G+
The Gopher women’s gymnastics team kicks off their preseason with their intersquad meet at the Pav Saturday afternoon. It’s their first opportunity to work on their routines in a meet environmental and in front of fans. The meet is free to all fans and will stream on B1G+.
Women’s Hockey vs Wisconsin 2 PM B1G+
The series finale between the Gophers and Badgers is set for a 2 PM faceoff on Saturday from Ridder Arena. It’s also the Gophers annual Teddy Bear Toss game with fans bringing teddy bears to toss on the ice during intermission that will be donated to the U of M Children’s Hospital. The game will stream on B1G+.
Men’s Hockey @ Ohio State 7 PM BTN
Game two of the series between the Gophers and Buckeyes from Columbus is set for a 7 PM faceoff. The game will air on Big Ten Network.
Sunday December 10th:
Women’s Basketball vs Purdue 1:00 PM B1G+
The Gopher women who are off to a great 8-1 start this season will open Big Ten play at the Barn on Sunday when they host Purdue. Minnesota is coming off a big come from behind win at Kentucky on Wednesday night spurred by Mara Braun’s 25 points on 5-7 shooting from behind the arc. That was matched by freshman Grace Grochloski who also went 5-7 from three for 15 points in the win.
Tip is set for 1 :00 and tickets are available. The game will stream on B1G+.
Wrestling vs North Dakota State 2 PM B1G+
The Gopher wrestling team returns to dual meets when they host the NDSU Bison at the Pav Sunday afternoon. The first 200 fans get a free Gopher Wrestling t-shirt. Minnesota is 4-0 in dual meets this season. Action begins at 2 PM on B1G+.