The Gophers men's hockey team, which has won all three regular-season titles since the Big Ten was formed, opens its fourth conference season against Ohio State at 8 p.m. Friday (BTN) at Mariucci Arena.
Minnesota (6-4-2) is coming off its biggest win of the season, a 4-2 victory Sunday over then-No. 4 Boston College. The victory also gave Gophers coach Don Lucia 700 in his career.
The Gophers were picked to finish first in the Big Ten in a preseason coaches poll, followed by the Buckeyes (8-1-4).
Minnesota was 5-0 against Ohio State last season, but three of those games went into overtime and a fourth was decided by one goal.
"They have a very good hockey team, a very dangerous hockey team, a great power play," Ohio State coach Steve Rohlik said. "We know we will have to be at our best."
The No. 10 Buckeyes are ahead of the No. 11 Gophers in the USCHO.com poll this week, although the USA Today poll has them nearly reversed with Minnesota No. 9 and Ohio State No. 11.
Minnesota is 24-3-1 all-time against the Buckeyes, whose last win in the series was 5-2 on March 7, 2015 in Columbus.
• Andrew Sturtz scored twice as Penn State (12-1-1) routed visiting Michigan 6-1 on Thursday in the first game of the Big Ten season. The Wolverines (6-6-1) were outshot 48-29.
• The Gophers wrestling team will compete in the Cliff Keen Invitational, which includes nine top-20 teams, starting Friday in Las Vegas.
• St. Thomas will play Tufts of Medford, Mass., at 10 a.m. Friday in the NCAA Division III men's soccer semifinals in Salem, Va. Tommies senior Tony Kuplic has five goals in the past four games. after not scoring before.
• Winona State, with four players with 10 kills or more, edged Minnesota Duluth 3-1 in the NCAA Division II Central Region volleyball quarterfinals at the Gangelhoff Center in St. Paul. Earlier, Augustana defeated No. 3 seed Nebraska-Kearney 3-2, No. 2 seed Southwest Minnesota State beat Wayne State 3-1 behind Taylor Reiss' 26 kills and top seed Concordia (St. Paul) beat Southern Nazarene 3-0.