Late after the Gophers split this past weekend's series with No. 16 Notre Dame, the team learned it had accomplished its short-term goal of home-ice advantage for the Big Ten tournament.
The Gophers will play host to a quarterfinal match-up 6 p.m. March 8 and 4 p.m. March 9, with a tie-breaking game 4:30 p.m. March 10 if necessary all at 3M Arena at Mariucci. While the Gophers currently sit in second place at 11-10-3, that won't keep. The rest of the conference has one more series, and the Gophers will close out their regular season at home this weekend against No. 11 Arizona State. But the team can't finish in fifth-place or lower, thanks to some potential tiebreakers.
The quarterfinal opponent is still up in the air, but it for sure won't be No. 6 Ohio State, who clinched the regular season conference title this past weekend and earned a quarterfinal bye. The Gophers (14-15-4) likely need to win the Big Ten tournament in order to make the NCAA tournament.