7 p.m. Tuesday, 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Yost Ice Arena • BTN, 103.5-FM, 1130-AM
Top-five battle will be missing key players
Gophers at a glance: Fourth-ranked Minnesota (6-0, 6-0 for 18 points Big Ten) finishes the first portion of the Big Ten schedule with a visit to the Wolverines, who were picked to finish second behind the Gophers in the conference coaches' preseason poll. The Gophers have yet to trail in any game, but they will be without defensemen Ryan Johnson, Jackson LaCombe and Brock Faber, who are in the U.S. National Junior Team's training camp, plus forward Brannon McManus (lower-body injury). Coach Bob Motzko on Friday was optimistic that Ben Brinkman (upper-body injury) will return after missing the Michigan State series. … Scott Reedy leads the Gophers and is tied for fourth nationally with five goals.
Wolverines at a glance: No. 5 Michigan (5-3-0, 3-3 for eight points Big Ten) will be without five players who are with the U.S. National Junior Team: forwards Thomas Bordeleau (3 goals, 7 assists, 10 points), Brendan Brisson (2-5-7), Matty Beniers (3-3-6) and Johnny Beecher (1-1-2), and defenseman Cam York (2-3-5). They represent four of the team's top seven scorers. Michigan will rely on Kent Johnson, the nation's assists leader with eight, and Michael Pastujov (4-1-5) to fill the void. Goalie Strauss Mann, a Mike Richter Award finalist last season, has started every game and has a 1.99 GAA and .923 save percentage.