The No. 2 Gophers women’s hockey team will host the inaugural Minnesota Cup at Ridder Arena this weekend.
On Saturday, St. Cloud State will play Minnesota State Mankato at 1 p.m., and then the Gophers will face Minnesota Duluth at 4 p.m. The winning and losing teams will meet on Sunday, with the Bulldogs playing in the first game at 1 p.m. and the Gophers in the second at 4 p.m.
“It only came about as soon as North Dakota dropped their program,” Gophers coach Brad Frost said, referring to the Minnesota Cup. “Every other team in the WCHA needed four more nonconference games. And so, to alleviate some of the travel expenses, we figured we would do a tournament with the Minnesota teams.
“Bemidji [State] is out of the tournament this year and will actually be out of the tournament next year. But the WCHA awarded us to host as we have hosted many tournaments and the WCHA Final Faceoff.
“Looking forward to getting four Minnesota teams together and playing in a little tournament.”
Minnesota (17-2-1) is on a 10-game winning streak — its last loss was to then-No. 1 Wisconsin 4-1 on Nov. 28. In that streak, the Gophers are averaging 5.40 goals per game while allowing 1.60.
“If we all are doing our best, there is really no one who can stop us,” said forward Taylor Heise, who has seven goals and nine assists for 16 points. She is tied for second in points among WCHA freshmen with teammate Amy Potomak (4-12—16).
Senior forward Nicole Schammel (6-19—25) leads the Gophers in scoring.
• Potomak was named the WCHA rookie of the month for December. She had four assists and was a plus-3 as her team went 3-0 last month.
U setter in award mix
Gophers senior setter Samantha Seliger-Swenson was named one of four finalists from volleyball for the Honda Sport Award, presented annually by the College Women Sports Award to the top women athletes in 12 NCAA-sanctioned sports.
Seliger-Swenson was the first Gopher to become a four-time All-America pick. She finished her career with 5,674 assists, the fourth most in program history.
Auggies in semis
Augsburg’s wrestling team won two matches in the NWCA Division III National Duals in Lexington, Ky., to advance to the semifinals.
The top-ranked Auggies beat the University of Chicago 36-3 and No. 10 Wisconsin-La Crosse 29-6. Next Augsburg (5-0) will face No. 5 Wabash (Ind.) at 10 a.m. Saturday.
Junior Lucas Jeske, the defending 165-pound national champion, had two pins for the Auggies.
SCSU advances, too
The No. 2 St. Cloud State wrestling team won twice in the NWCA Division II National Duals in Lexington, beating Seton Hall 38-3 and Upper Iowa 27-12.
The Huskies (9-0) will face No. 1 Nebraska-Kearney at 10 a.m. Saturday in the semifinals.