Sophomore defenseman Nate Schmidt said the Gophers remember Alaska Anchorage sweeping them last March in the first round of the WCHA playoffs.
"All of the guys, we are looking forward to this weekend," he said. "These are the guys that knocked us out last year. This is a big weekend for us."
UAA beat the Gophers 4-3 and 2-0 at Mariucci Arena, ending Minnesota's season. Had the Gophers won, based on what else happened in college hockey, they probably would have made the NCAA tournament.
"It stings a lot for a lot of us from last year," Schmidt said. "This is probably one of our biggest weekends. Obviously, each week is big [in the WCHA].
"[But] for this team to do to us what they did last year, [this series] is a key mark in our moving foward."
The Gophers are tied with six other teams for first place in the WCHA standings with four points. They earned those points with a sweep of UMD two weekends ago. Three of those teams have played four conference games, four have played two including the 'U'.
Then there are five teams, including UAA, tied for eighth place with no points after two games.
There should be a little more separation after this weekend because there are five WCHA series.