Mariucci Classic preview, matchups

  • Updated: December 29, 2011 - 11:32 PM

MARIUCCI CLASSIC

TV/radio: No TV • Gophers game on 1500ESPN both nights

Friday's games

Gophers vs. Niagara, 7 p.m.

Gophers at a glance: The No. 2-rated Gophers (14-5-1 overall, 11-3-0 WCHA) scored four goals in the third period to beat Michigan Tech 6-2 in their last game on Dec. 10. They are 3-1-1 in their past five games, but just 1-4 the past five Fridays. ... The Gophers swept Niagara 5-2, 7-1 the only previous time they met, a series at Mariucci on Jan. 6-7, 2006. ... The Gophers will be without their top two goal-scorers, Nick Bjugstad and Kyle Rau, who are playing in the World Juniors.

Purple Eagles at a glance: Niagara has a six-game unbeaten streak (3-0-3). ... The Purple Eagles (5-5-6, 4-2-5 Atlantic Hockey) are coming off a 4-3 victory over Mercyhurst on Dec. 10 in what coach David Burkholder called his team's best game of the season. ... Chris Noonan has a 2.32 goals-against average and a .928 save percentage, both team bests among three goalies. ... The Purple Eagles are six games into a program-record 11-game road trip.

Northeastern vs. Princeton, 4 p.m.

Huskies at a glance: After a 1-7-2 start, Northeastern is on a six-game winning streak. ... Forward Steve Quailer has five goals and seven assists in his past seven games; Chris Rawlings, another junior, has a 1.28 goals-against average during the streak. ... Freshman Ludwig Karlsson of Stockholm is the team's second-leading scorer with six goals and 14 points.

Tigers at a glance: Princeton (4-9-2, 3-7-1 ECAC) is averaging only 2.33 goals per game, which puts them 46th nationally. ... Forwards Jack Berger and Rob Kleebaum lead the team in goals with six apiece. ... Goalie Sean Bonar is 4-6-2 with a 2.96 goals-against average and a .897 save percentage. ... Princeton, which lost 3-0 to Denver a month ago, is 0-2-1 in its last three games.

Saturday's games

Niagara vs. Northeastern/Princeton, 3 p.m.; Gophers vs. Northeastern/Princeton, 6 p.m.

ROMAN AUGUSTOVIZ

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