Gophers men’s hockey series preview
7 p.m. Friday, 4 p.m. Saturday vs. Penn State • Mariucci Arena
TV, radio: Friday on BTN, Saturday on FSN; 1500-AM both nights
Gophers (13-12, 8-2 Big Ten): After taking a weekend off from Big Ten play for the North Star College Cup, the Gophers hope to extend a five-game winning streak against conference rivals. Following a split at Penn State early last month, they swept Michigan State and Wisconsin, outscoring their opponents 28-6 over the five victories. The Gophers are 8-2 against Penn State and are 21-1-2 in the Big Ten on home ice. F Justin Kloos is on a seven-game goal streak, the longest of his career, with seven goals and nine assists in that stretch. Linemate Connor Reilly is hot, too, with a career-high six-game point streak (four goals, five assists). Saturday’s game is part of the 10th annual Hockey Day Minnesota celebration; the Gophers are 4-0-1 in Hockey Day Minnesota games over the past five years.
Penn State (16-7-3, 6-4): The 16th-ranked Nittany Lions have yet to win at Mariucci Arena, going 0-4 in the program’s brief history. They are in the midst of a five-game stretch away from home and have lost three in a row, falling at Ohio State before being swept by Michigan. Penn State is 3-1-2 on the road this year and will play 11 of its final 14 games away from home. It leads the nation in shots per game (43.9) and shot margin per game (plus-11.65), and it is fifth in goals per game (3.92) and seventh in power-play percentage (24.3). The roster includes two Minnesotans: senior F Eric Scheid of Blaine, the team’s second-leading scorer with eight goals and 11 assists, and freshman D Vince Pedrie of Rochester, who has six goals and 10 assists.