GOPHERS MEN’S HOCKEY SERIES PREVIEW
Home-and-home series vs. Minnesota Duluth: 7 pm Friday, 3M Arena at Mariucci; 7 p.m. Saturday, AMSOIL Arena
TV, radio: Fox 9+, 1130-AM, 103.5-FM
For the fans: Friday’s game is sold out. The first 5,000 fans will receive free Gophers hockey jersey koozies. Saturday in Duluth, UMD will honor former player Adam Johnson — who died last week after being cut by a skate blade during a game in England — with a pregame video tribute, moment of silence and stick salute.
. . .
Rachel Blount’s preview:
Opening bell: After two weeks atop the national rankings, the Gophers (3-3, 0-2 Big Ten) fell to No. 6 following a pair of losses to Wisconsin. They have dropped three games in a row, their longest losing streak since 2019. No. 14 Minnesota Duluth (3-2-2, 0-0-0 NCHC) has lost its past two games, but the Bulldogs are on a roll against their in-state rival, with a 12-2-1 record against the Gophers in the past nine seasons.
Watch him: Gophers F Jimmy Snuggerud scored five goals in the first three games, but he’s gone without a point in the past three. A stagnant Gophers offense needs him to find the net again.
Injuries: For the first time this season, the Gophers have all players available. D Mike Koster is expected to make his season debut, giving the defensive corps a big boost. Bulldogs F Dominic James (shoulder) is out for the season.
Forecast: Both teams are eager to get back on track after recent stumbles. The Bulldogs were undefeated through their first five games before Cornell outscored them 7-1 in a sweep last weekend, while the Gophers have scored just five goals during their three-game slump. Goalie Justen Close gives the Gophers an edge defensively, but they will need to keep UMD’s excellent power-play unit off the ice.
. . .
Sign up here to get Gophers sports news delivered to your inbox for free.