3 p.m. vs. Michigan State, Big Ten tournament, South Bend, Ind., BTN, 103.5-FM, 1130-AM
Gophers at a glance: Minnesota, ranked fourth in the U.S. College Hockey Online poll, needed a win and at least a tie against Michigan last weekend but settled for a split, which enabled Wisconsin to win the regular-season title by .729-. 727 winning percentage in conference games. The Gophers (20-6, 16-6 Big Ten) will try to rebound in the conference tournament, starting with a Michigan State team they swept twice. … The Gophers have received balanced scoring this season, with six players with 20 or more points. Sampo Ranta (16 goals, 10 assists, 26 points) leads that group, with Sammy Walker (12-13-25), Ben Meyers (11-14-25) and Scott Reedy (9-15-24) close behind. Jack LaFontaine, a finalist for the Mike Richter Award, ranks first nationally in wins (18), second in goals-against average (1.68) and shutouts (five) and fourth in save percentage (. 935).
Spartans at a glance: Michigan State (7-17-2, 3-15-2-2) closed the regular season with a six-game losing streak but gave Wisconsin all it could handle before falling 2-1 on Saturday. The Spartans are averaging 1.5 goals per game, next to last among the 51 college hockey teams playing this season, and their power-play percentage of 5.8 is 49th. Mitchell Lewandowski (6-6-12) leads the Spartans in scoring, while Josh Nodler (3-8-11) and Dennis Cesana (1-10-11) are the only others in double figures. Goalie Drew DeRidder has played 24 of 26 games, posting a 2.76 GAA and .923 save percentage.