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Gophers-MSU Mankato hockey series preview

  • November 1, 2012 - 11:24 PM

SERIES PREVIEW: NO. 2 GOPHERS VS. MINNESOTA STATE MANKATO

7 p.m. Friday at Mariucci Arena 7 p.m. Saturday at Verizon Wireless Center, Mankato

TV/radio: FSN Friday, FSN Plus Saturday; 1500-AM both

Records: Mankato 2-2-2, 0-2 WCHA; No. 2 Gophers 4-1, 1-1

Gophers at a glance: Coming off a 1-0 victory over Canisius, the Gophers look to find the offense that delivered 12 goals opening weekend against Michigan State. The Gophers are 30-7-6 all-time vs. the Mavericks and won both games last season. Forwards Nick Bjugstad, Kyle Rau and Nate Condon are tied for the team scoring lead with five points. Coach Don Lucia hasn't named a starting goalie, but freshman Adam Wilcox is coming off a 20-save shutout. Defenseman Brady Skjei will return from injury, but left winger Sam Warning is week-to-week because of an undisclosed injury.

Mavericks at a glance: Devastated by injuries last season, MSU Mankato, which finished 11th in the 12-team WCHA, returns seven of their top 10 scorers and veteran goalie Phil Cook (27-28-7 in his career). Coach Mike Hastings says the Mavericks must get leading scorer Matt Leitner (six points, tied for seventh in the WCHA) and Chase Grant (five) going again after a tough weekend at St. Cloud State (consecutive 5-1 losses). Sophomore Jean-Paul Lafontaine has only one assist after a 13-goal, 28-point freshman season.

MICHAEL RUSSO

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