Series preview: Gophers hockey vs. Wisconsin

  • Updated: February 14, 2013 - 8:46 PM

series preview:

gophers at wisconsin

When, where: 7 p.m. Friday at Kohl Center, 3:30 p.m. Sunday at Soldier Field, Chicago

TV, radio: FSN Plus on Friday, Big Ten Network Sunday; 1500-AM both games

Gophers at a glance: Heading into the WCHA stretch run, the No. 2 Gophers (19-5-4, 11-5-4 WCHA) continue to lead the league in scoring offense (3.75 goals per game), scoring defense (1.93 gpg), power play (25.2 percent) and penalty kill (88.5 percent). They are the only team in the nation ranked in the top 10 in all four of those categories. Freshman G Adam Wilcox is on pace to break Alex Kangas' team single-season record for goals-against average (1.98); Wilcox has a 1.80 GAA and a .921 save percentage. Junior D Nate Schmidt has scored goals in the past four games and has a career-high eight goals this season. His 28 points are the most among NCAA defensemen. The Gophers are 4-3-3 in their past 10 meetings with Wisconsin. Sunday's game will not be the first the two future Big Ten rivals have played outdoors; the Gophers defeated the Badgers 3-0 in an outdoor game on Jan. 26, 1922 in Madison.

Wisconsin at a glance: With seven ties, the No. 18 Badgers (12-9-7, 9-6-7) have equaled the school record for most WCHA ties in a season. They also have played 10 overtime games, matching another program record. They are 2-1-7 in extra time this season. Wisconsin has a fine goaltending tandem in sophomores Landon Peterson (1.94 GAA, .927 save percentage) and Joel Rumpel (1.85, .930). Peterson has started four of the past five games, going 2-1-1; overall he is 6-3-3. Rumpel is 6-6-4. Sunday's game will be the Badgers' third in an outdoor football stadium; they defeated Michigan and Ohio State in the previous two. The scoring-challenged Badgers rank 10th in the WCHA at 2.25 goals per game. Their top point producer -- junior forward Michael Mersch, who has 16 goals and seven assists -- is 30th on the WCHA scoring chart.

RACHEL BLOUNT

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