Gophers' men’s hockey gameday
Gophers vs. MSU Mankato • 7 p.m. Friday at Verizon Wireless Center (107.1-FM) • 7 p.m. Saturday at Mariucci Arena (FSN-Plus, 1500-AM)
Gophers at a glance: Minnesota (3-4) is coming off its first road victory of the season at Notre Dame. They scored three goals in the third period to pull away and salvage a series split. The Gophers offense has taken off since scoring just one goal in the first three games. They’ve scored 15 goals over the past four games led by forwards Hudson Fasching and Leon Bristedt with four apiece. Nine different Gophers have scored at least one goal. Junior defenseman Michael Brodzinski leads the team with seven points (two goals). The Gophers lost to then-No. 1 Minnesota State Mankato in the North Star College Cup last season. The Gophers have won six of the past 10 meetings “We lost to them last year, so I think there’s a lot of guys on our team coming down [to Mankato] that want to get revenge,” Bristedt said. “It’s a rivalry and we’re really pumped for this.”
Minnesota State Mankato at a glance: The Mavericks (5-5, 5-1 WCHA) have started to turn around their season by winning five of the past six games, including sweeps against Bemidji State and Alaska. Their four-game winning streak was snapped with a series-opening loss at Ferris State last weekend, but the Mavericks rallied for a 3-2 victory Saturday. Minnesota State Mankato is 5-1 in conference play, but 0-4 against nonconference opponents. “This weekend is huge. We’ve got to get a couple wins against a nonconference opponent for PairWise [rankings],” Mavericks leading scorer Casey Nelson said. “We’ve just got to get back to the mind-set that we can’t lose at home.” The junior defenseman leads the team in points nine on three goals and six assists. Forwards Bryce Gervais and C.J. Franklin also have three goals apiece.