gophers at wisconsin
8 p.m. Friday 7 p.m. Saturday Kohl Center, Madison, Wis.
TV/radio/live stream: BTN both nights; 1500-AM on Friday and 107.1-FM on Saturday; BTN2Go both nights.
Gophers at a glance: They were looking forward to this weekend minutes after finishing off the Badgers at Mariucci Arena two weeks ago. There is unfinished business following the fight that broke out in the series finale, but since then both programs have bigger worries. The Gophers (11-9-2, 2-2-2 Big Ten) fell out of the USCHO national rankings for the first time since 2011 on Monday, and the team is desperate for a victory. They’ve won just four games since mid-November and were swept by in-state rivals (Minnesota State Mankato and Minnesota Duluth) in the North Star College Cup last weekend in St. Paul. The doldrums have created a “must-win”-like scenario for their remaining 14 regular-season games.
Badgers at a glance: They were 10 minutes from a much-needed victory last Friday at the Kohl Center — leading 4-3 against first-place Michigan — but the momentum had shifted and the Badgers couldn’t stop it. The Wolverines scored four goals in the final 10:41 to cap a run of six unanswered goals. The following night, the Badgers (2-15-3, 0-5-1) were shut out 6-0. Wisconsin has been stuck on two victories since Jan. 3 but has a rematch with another struggling team.
TV note: Minnesota will be the featured Big Ten program in BTN’s Friday night doubleheader. The No. 1-ranked Gophers wrestling team will meet No. 2 Iowa on BTN at 6 p.m., and the hockey game will follow at 8 p.m.