vs. Ohio State
3 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday
Ridder Arena • no TV (stream: BTN Plus)
Eight-month delay to play Ohio State finally over for U
Gophers at a glance: Fourth-ranked Minnesota (27-6-3, 17-5-2 WCHA in 2019-20) faces the fifth-ranked Buckeyes in a repeat of a matchup that was slated for the NCAA tournament quarterfinals last March. The Buckeyes won three of five meetings last season, including a 4-3 overtime triumph in the WCHA tournament semifinals. … With Sydney Scobee graduated, the Gophers turn to graduate transfer Lauren Bench, who started three seasons for Bemidji State. … Saturday's game will mark the debut of the Gophers class of freshmen that is ranked No. 1 nationally by NeutralZone.net. Headlining the class are top-ranked forward Abbey Murphy of Chicago Mission and defenseman Maggie Nicholson of Minnetonka, the No. 3-ranked recruit. Other freshmen are Addie Burton, a forward from Blake ranked No. 7; Anne Cherkowski, a forward from Kelowna, British Columbia, ranked No. 11; Blake forward Audrey Wethington, ranked No.12; Chicago Mission defenseman Josey Dunne; and Edina forward Tella Jungels.
Buckeyes at a glance: Ohio State (24-8-6, 13-6-5-2) is the defending WCHA tournament champion, posting overtime wins over the Gophers and top-ranked Wisconsin (1-0) at Ridder Arena. Though picked third behind Wisconsin and Minnesota in the WCHA preseason coaches poll, the Buckeyes boast two first-team preseason all-conference selections in forward Emma Maltais and goalie Andrea Braendli. Maltais ranked sixth nationally in scoring last season with 59 points on 19 goals and 40 assists, while Braendli went 20-5-5 with a 1.89 goals-against average and .928 save percentage. … Buckeyes coach Nadine Muzerall was a two-time All-America player for the Gophers.