SERIES PREVIEW: NO. 1 GOPHERS at NO. 12 WISCONSIN
7:30 p.m. on Thursday and 8 p.m. on Friday at Kohl Center in Madison, Wis.
TV/radio/live stream: BTN, 1500-AM and BTN2Go.com all both nights
Gophers at a glance: The Gophers’ final leg of the season will be its toughest. Minnesota (19-2-5, 8-0-2 Big Ten) begins the 10-game stretch at Wisconsin’s Kohl Center against a much-improved Badgers team. Gophers coach Don Lucia is betting on history that his team will win at least one game in Madison. They’ll be without senior forward Tom Serratore and defenseman Michael Brodzinski for a second consecutive week, but the shuffling lines continue to produce. The Gophers are on a 14-game unbeaten streak (10-0-4).
Badgers at a glance: Wisconsin (14-8-2, 5-4-1) was one of the hottest teams in college hockey before last weekend. Despite a loss and tie (lost in shootout) at Michigan, the Badgers are 10-3-1 since the last time they saw the Gophers. Their goaltender situation is more stable with Joel Rumpel in the net and their veteran players are producing more. However, forwards Nic Kerdiles and Tyler Barnes are battling injuries and will be game-time decisions. The home atmosphere will be an advantage. The Badgers are 13-2-1 at the Kohl Center.