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Gophers hope to extend roll after 20-goal series
Gophers at a glance: The fourth-ranked Gophers (13-3, 9-3 Big Ten) sit atop the conference standings with 27 points, four ahead of Michigan, which has played two more league games, and five up on third-place Wisconsin. The Gophers are coming off a series in which they routed a banged-up Arizona State team 10-0 and 10-2 as six Gophers collected five or more points in the series. Blake McLaughlin, the Big Ten's No. 1 star of the week, had seven points on four goals and three assists, and Brannon McManus, the No. 2 star, had a hat trick and an assist in the opener and a goal and an assist in the finale. … The Gophers swept Ohio State 4-1 and 2-0 on Nov. 23-24 at 3M Arena at Mariucci as goalie Jack LaFontaine stopped 38 of 39 shots in the series. … Defenseman Matt Staudacher, who's missed the past four games because of injury, will return, coach Bob Motzko said.
Buckeyes at a glance: Ohio State (5-10-1, 5-9-0-0-1) sits in sixth place in the Big Ten with 16 points and has lost four of its past five after a road split against Michigan State last weekend. The Buckeyes are paced by forwards Travis Treloar (6-9-15), Mark Cheremeta (4-9-13) and Quinn Preston (5-6-11). Senior goalie Tommy Nappier, the Big Ten goaltender of the year as a sophomore in 2018-19, is 5-10-1 with a 2.82 goals-against average and .917 save percentage.