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Weekend watch guide: Busy hockey schedule sets table for Super Bowl

This weekend is all about the Super Bowl. Will Peyton Manning close out a great career with a second Super Bowl title or will rising star Cam Newton win his first Lombardi Trophy?  Before you settle in for the big game, though, a busy local lineup will be help keep you entertained.

Here’s your weekend watch guide:

Friday

Gophers women’s hockey vs. North Dakota, 6:07 p.m., listen at gophersports.com
Need to know: Gophers' former women’s college hockey Player of the Year Amanda Kessel returns to the ice after missing two seasons.

Gophers men’s hockey vs. Penn State, 7 p.m. BTN, 1500-AM
Need to know: The Gophers hope to rebound in conference play after being swept in the North Star College Cup by in-state rivals Bemidji State and Minnesota State last weekend.

Saturday

Hockey Day Minnesota high school lineup
-Duluth Denfeld vs. Eveleth-Gilbert, 10 a.m., FSN
-Duluth East vs. Lakeville North, 1 p.m., FSN

Gophers men’s hockey vs. Penn State, 4 p.m., FSN, 1500-AM
Need to know:
 The Gophers have a chance to separate themselves in the Big Ten standings from third-place Penn State. The Gophers enter the series tied for first place with Michigan.

Gophers women’s hockey vs. North Dakota, 4:07 p.m., listen at gophersports.com
Need to know: North Dakota is one of only two teams to beat the Gophers this year, a 4-3 victory Oct. 30 in Grand Forks, N.D.

Wild at St. Louis, 7 p.m., FSN, 100.3-FM
Need to know: The Wild is 0-2 since the NHL All-Star break and on a four-game losing streak. The team has won only three games in 2016.

Timberwolves vs. Chicago, 7 p.m., No TV, 830-AM
Need to know: The Wolves are coming off a 108-102 victory against the Los Angeles Clippers. Andrew Wiggins helped hold off the Clippers with a game-high 31 points. The game won’t be on TV, so you’ll have to listen on the radio.

Sunday

Gophers women’s basketball, 2 p.m., BTN, 1500-AM
Need to know: The Gophers have won five of their last six games and are coming off an 85-72 victory against Rutgers. They are currently sixth in the Big Ten standings, but are ranked 99th in the RPI rankings.

Super Bowl 50, Denver Broncos vs. Carolina Panthers, 5:30 p.m., Channel 4, 100.3-FM
Need to know: Denver's veteran quarterback Peyton Manning and Carolina's rising star Cam Newton face off in Super Bowl 50. Coldplay is the halftime performer. Even some Minnesotans/former Vikings will be on display in the big game. Also, make sure you check out the Star Tribune's 50 years of Super Bowl memories.

Amanda Kessel returns: Five reasons to be excited about it

Amanda Kessel is expected to make her official return to college hockey tonight at Ridder Arena when the No. 3 Gophers host No. 8 North Dakota. The team announced Wednesday that Kessel had been cleared by doctors to finish her final year of eligibility and skate with the Gophers once again.

(The games aren't on free or cable TV, but can be watched by purchasing a subscription to BTN Plus.)

Kessel’s return to the women’s hockey program is arguably one of the biggest headlines in the sport this year. Here’s why:

-- Kessel is a former Olympian and silver medalist. She represented the U.S. at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, where she tallied six points (three goals, three assists) in five games. She scored a goal and assist in the semifinal, 6-1, victory over Sweden.

-- Kessel was the best player in college hockey three seasons ago. She helped lead the Gophers to an unprecedented 41-0-0 run to a national championship. Kessel finished the season with a career-high 101 points (46 goals, 55 assists) and earned several top player honors including the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award. She has 231 career points and needs 16 points to move into second all-time in program history. 

-- The Gophers (24-3-0) are ranked No. 3 in the most recent USCHO poll. Undefeated Boston College (27-0-0) is No. 1 and WCHA rival Wisconsin (26-1-1) is No. 2. Kessel could be the spark that the Gophers need to propel back to No. 1 and retake control of the conference. Wisconsin swept the Gophers in Madison earlier this season.

-- Kessel’s college career appeared to be over in July. Gophers coach Brad Frost announced Kessel wouldn’t return for the 2015-2016 season because of lingering concussion effects from her time playing for the U.S. Olympic Team. She was cleared to finish the Olympics, but then sat out the 2014-2015 season with lingering symptoms. However, she enrolled in classes this academic year and began skating with the team around the New Year.

-- Coach Brad Frost said “Amanda was the best player in the world when she played here last. So it’s one of those things where we have always wanted her to get as healthy as possible, and that’s the continued hope for her.” Yes, Kessel hasn’t played a game since February 2014, but she now has the experience of playing in the Olympics and if she plays with even half of the skill she had two years ago, she’ll be a big addition in the Gophers’ quest for back-to-back national titles.  
 

TV Listings

Local Schedule

< >
  • Penn State at Gophers men's hockey

    4 pm on FSN, 1500-AM

  • North Dakota at Gophers women's hockey

    4:07 pm

  • Wild at St. Louis

    7 pm on FSN, 100.3-FM

  • Chicago at Timberwolves

    7 pm on 830-AM

  • Gophers women's basketball at Northwestern

    2 pm on BTN, 1500-AM

  • New Orleans at Timberwolves

    7 pm on FSN, 830-AM

  • Dallas at Wild

    7 pm on NBCSN, 100.3-FM

  • Toronto at Timberwolves

    7 pm on FSN, 830-AM

  • Michigan at Gophers men's basketball

    8 pm on BTN, 1500-AM

  • Nebraska at Gophers women's basketball

    7 pm on 1500-AM

  • Washington at Wild

    7 pm on FSN, 100.3-FM

  • Gophers men's hockey at Ohio State

    5:30 pm on BTN, 1500-AM

  • Gophers women's hockey at Minnesota Duluth

    7:07 pm

  • Boston at Wild

    1 pm on FSN, 100.3-FM

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Today's Scoreboard

No NFL games today

  • Washington

    New Jersey

     

    - F

    3

    2

  • NY Rangers

    Philadelphia

     

    - F

    3

    2

  • NY Islanders

    Detroit

     

    -

    0

    4

  • Edmonton

    Montreal

     

    - 3rd, 19:50

    0

    4

  • Buffalo

    Boston

    6:00 PM

  • Pittsburgh

    Florida

    6:00 PM

  • Toronto

    Ottawa

    6:00 PM

  • Chicago

    Dallas

    7:00 PM

    WGN

  • San Jose

    Nashville

    7:00 PM

  • Minnesota

    St. Louis

    7:00 PM

    FSN

  • Calgary

    Vancouver

    9:00 PM

  • Winnipeg

    Colorado

    9:00 PM

  • Portland

    Houston

    4:00 PM

  • Detroit

    Indiana

    6:00 PM

  • Washington

    Charlotte

    6:00 PM

  • New Orleans

    Cleveland

    6:30 PM

    FSN

  • Brooklyn

    Philadelphia

    6:30 PM

  • Chicago

    Minnesota

    7:00 PM

  • Dallas

    Memphis

    7:00 PM

  • LA Lakers

    San Antonio

    7:30 PM

  • Utah

    Phoenix

    8:00 PM

  • Oklahoma City

    Golden State

    8:00 PM

    ESPN

  • Toronto FC

    Los Angeles

     

    - F

    3

    2

  • Chicago

    University of South Florida

    4:00 PM

  • Philadelphia

    Jacksonville

    5:00 PM

  • Vancouver

    New England

    5:30 PM

  • San Jose

    Houston

    6:00 PM

  • Seattle

    Portland

    8:00 PM

No MLB games today