Minnesota Duluth is riding a four-game winning streak against the Gophers entering Friday night's series opener at Mariucci Arena. The Bulldogs beat their longtime rival three times during the regular season and then ended their season in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
It was only the second time in program history and since the rivalry began in 1961-62 that Duluth had four or more wins in the same season against the rival.
The Gophers won the first meeting last season, both team's season-opener, but the Bulldogs have a 5-3-1 advantage over the past three seasons.
Both teams were ranked in the top 10 preseason national polls and then lost their season openers. Duluth, however, returns most of its team from a year ago, while the Gophers try to rebuild with young talent and a veteran junior class.
The home-and-home series will shift north to Duluth on Saturday where the Bulldogs will make their home debut after having last Friday night's game canceled due to power failure at Amsoil Arena.
• Series Preview: No. 15 Gophers vs. No. 7 Minnesota Duluth
7 p.m. • Mariucci (Fri.), Amsoil (Sat.) • FSN, 1500-AM
Gophers at a glance: The No. 15 Gophers (0-1) are still searching for their first goal of the season entering a home-and-home series with Minnesota Duluth. They were shut out 3-0 by unranked Vermont in last Saturday’s season opener and struggled to create good scoring chances. Six freshmen made their college debuts, including goaltender Eric Schierhorn. He gave up just up two goals, the third into an empty net, but the Gophers offense didn’t provide any support. Captain and junior forward Justin Kloos took responsibility for the poor showing and put the blame on the large junior class instead of the rookies. Things won’t get any easier for the Gophers this weekend as they try to end a four-game losing streak against a longtime rival. … The game will be streamed on BTN2Go and Fox Sports Go.
Full series preview.
• Gophers' lines
Forwards (left wing, center, right wing)
Brent Gates Jr., Justin Kloos, Hudson Fasching
Leon Bristedt, Tommy Novak, Connor Reilly
Taylor Cammarata, Tyler Sheehy, Vinni Lettieri
A.J. Michaelson, Darian Romanko, Jack Ramsey
Defensemen (left, right)
Nick Seeler, Ryan Collins
Jake Bischoff, Jack Glover
Steve Johnson, Michael Brodzinski
Eric Schierhorn, Nick Lehr, Brock Kautz