GOPHERS MEN'S HOCKEY PREVIEW
5:30 p.m. Friday and 5 p.m. Saturday at Michigan State
TV: BTN. Radio: 103.5-FM, 1130-AM
Gophers update: Minnesota (11-5, 6-2 Big Ten, 18 points) is coming off a split at Arizona State in which the Gophers lost 6-5 in overtime in the finale. "We did not play well in Arizona, and our guys know it,'' coach Bob Motzko said. "… There are certain weekends when it's over, you put it right in the garbage can. You don't talk about it again. We put that one in the garbage can.'' … The Gophers line of Matthew Knies (nine goals, seven assists, 16 points), Logan Cooley (5-11-16) and Jimmy Snuggerud (10-10-20) has combined for 52 points. Center Jaxon Nelson (5-10-15) and defenseman Jackson LaCombe (4-11-15) have supplied secondary scoring. Goalie Justen Close is 8-5-0 with a 2.22 goals-against average and .910 save percentage.
Spartans update: Michigan State (11-4-1, 5-2-1, 17 points) — a point behind first-place Minnesota in the conference race — has been one of the most surprising teams in the nation under new coach Adam Nightingale, a former Spartans forward who spent the past two seasons as coach at the U.S. National Team Development Program. Michigan State, which finished last in the conference five times in the past six years, owns Big Ten sweeps over Ohio State and Wisconsin and has a split with Penn State. Freshmen Daniel Russell (6-12-18) and Karsen Dorwart (7-10-17) and senior Nicolas Muller (3-13-16) pace the Spartans in scoring.Goalie Dylan St. Cyr, who played four seasons at Notre Dame and one at Quinnipiac, is 10-4-1 with a 2.13 GAA and .934 save percentage.