U men’s hockey gameday
Ice Breaker Tournament in Duluth
• Friday (7:30) at Minnesota Duluth
• Saturday (4 p.m.) vs. Union/Michigan Tech
An opening streak-breaker?
TV/stream/radio: Televised only on Duluth-based My9 Sports Network; live streamed with paid subscription to NCHC.tv. Radio: 1130-AM, 103.5-FM.
Ice Breaker: Minnesota (No. 3 USCHO.com poll) and No. 6 UMD open the regular season in college hockey’s annual Ice Breaker Tournament. The other semifinal pits Union vs. Michigan Tech, with the winners and losers squaring off Saturday. Win or lose, Minnesota plays Saturday at 4 p.m., with the UMD game to follow.
Gophers: Minnesota has a seven-game losing streak against UMD. The Gophers’ last victory in the series was Oct. 10, 2014. Brent Gates Jr. had two goals in Saturday’s 6-2 exhibition victory over Alberta, with Mike Szmatula, Rem Pitlick and Scott Reedy each notching two points apiece.
UMD: The Bulldogs lost last season’s NCAA title game to Denver 3-2, then lost three players early to the NHL: goalie Hunter Miska (Coyotes), forward Adam Johnson (Penguins) and defenseman Neal Pionk (Rangers). Alex Iafallo, who notched 51 points last season, started at left wing Wednesday for the L.A. Kings. Returnees include captain Karson Kuhlman, forward Joey Anderson (37 points) and former Minnesota Mr. Hockey recipients Riley Tufte and Avery Peterson.
Union: The No. 16 Dutchmen lost 4-1 to No. 2 Boston University last Saturday despite Jake Kupsky’s 39 saves. Two of the Terriers’ goals came on power play, two were empty-netters. Junior forward Sebastian Vidmar (14-27—41) is Union’s top returning scorer.
Michigan Tech: The Huskies, picked to finish third in the WCHA in two preseason polls, lost 3-2 to Wisconsin in their season opener Sunday. Joel L’Esperance and Jake Lucchini scored the goals, both coming on power plays. Sophomore Patrick Munson made 24 saves in his first start ever for Tech.