• 5:30 Friday and 7:30 Saturday p.m. at Michigan • ESPNews Friday, BTN Saturday, 1500-AM
Gophers hoping to stay hot on road
Preview: Though Michigan (10-17-3, 3-11-2-2 Big Ten) is having a down year by its standards, the Wolverines are typically tough to play in their raucous home arena. Coach Don Lucia said the fifth-ranked Gophers (21-9-2, 12-4) will have to match Michigan’s speed and intensity in the first 10 minutes each night to have a chance to win. The Gophers have won seven of their past nine games and three in a row on the road. Michigan is 2-8-2 in its past 12 games and was swept by the Gophers at Mariucci Arena in January.
Players to watch: Forward Vinni Lettieri is the Gophers’ top scorer against Michigan, with six goals — including a hat trick on Jan. 14 — and seven assists. Lettieri has a career-high 17 goals and 36 points this season. Forward Tyler Sheehy remains the Big Ten’s scoring leader with 48 points, and Jake Bischoff is the league’s top-scoring defenseman with 28 points. Michigan, ranked 42nd in the nation in scoring with 2.60 goals per game, is led by freshman forward Jake Slaker (six goals, 14 assists). The Wolverines spread the goaltending among Zach Nagelvoort, Hayden Lavigne and Jack LaFontaine, each of whom has played 11 games.
Numbers: The Gophers are fourth in the nation in scoring (3.88 goals per game) and fourth on the power play (37 of 141, 26.2 percent). … Michigan has been outscored 40-22 in third periods this season.