The Gophers play at Michigan State at 6 p.m. today in the first game of two. The Spartans have been stingy defensively, giving up two goals per game in going 5-1 their past six games.

Still, the Gophers power play has rebounded lately and they are averaging more than four goals per game. The Mariucci-Bessone Trophy is at stake. So on the road  ... Gophers win and tie.

There are three WCHA series this weekend:

* St. Cloud State at Nebraska Omaha. Unusual Saturday-Sunday series. UNO could tie Gophers for first place with a sweep. But the Huskies are pesky, getting at least two points against all four conference foes they have played. SCSU freshman Ryan Faragher is also a pretty good goalie. So the Maericks and the Huskies will ... Split.

* Colorado College at North Dakota. CC, with its high-powered offense, could gain on two leaders with a big weekend. Fighting Sioux are mired in a tie for 10th with Minnesota State Mankato. With smooth freshman Rocco Grimaldi out with a lower body injury, UND will have trouble staying with their visitors, so this is hard to write but ... CC sweeps

* Alaska Anchorage at Minnesota State Mankato. Seawolves are 12th in conference, Mavericks are tied for 10th. Battle to stay out of cellar. UAA has had trouble scoring, the Mavericks have had trouble keeping their players healthy. ... Split


* Princeton at Denver on Friday and Miami at Denver on Saturday in Denver Cup. ... DU sweeps

* Michigan Tech at St. Lawrence. Huskies are a much better team at home. Both teams started this season well but have struggled of late. ... Split

* Mercyhurst at Wisconsin. Badgers are only 5-8-1 overall. Mercyhurst is in first place in Atlantic Hockey but has a 6-5-1 overall mark. Going with the WCHA here ... Badgers sweep