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U seeks regular-season title clincher vs. Wolverines

Gophers at a glance: Third-ranked Minnesota (19-5, 15-5 Big Ten) was idle last weekend after the Penn State road series was canceled. The Gophers (. 750 Big Ten winning percentage) can secure the conference regular-season title with a win and at least a tie no matter how Wisconsin (. 705) fares against Michigan State. … The Gophers swept Michigan 3-1 and 4-0 on Dec. 8-9 in Ann Arbor in a series in which the Wolverines were missing five players to world juniors duty. The Gophers were without D's Brock Faber, Ryan Johnson and Jackson LaCombe to the U.S. national junior team, along with injured F Brannon McManus. G Jack LaFontaine stopped 67 of 68 shots in the series. LaFontaine leads the nation with 17 wins. Among goalies with 10 or more starts, he has the best save percentage (. 941) and ranks second in goals-against average (1.56) and shutouts (five). … Gophers coach Bob Motzko reports that his team is fully healthy.

Wolverines at a glance: Michigan (13-8-1, 9-8-1) is battling Notre Dame for third place in the Big Ten. The Wolverines are coming off a 4-1 win and 1-1 tie against Arizona State. … Michigan's top six scorers are freshmen: F's Thomas Bordeleau (7-19-26), Kent Johnson (7-16-23), Matty Berniers (9-10-19) and Brendan Brisson (8-10-18), and D's Cam York (3-13-16) and Owen Power (3-12-15). The 6-5, 214-pound Power is a candidate to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NHL draft. … G's Strauss Mann (9-7-1, 1.87 GAA, .929 save percentage) and Erik Portillo (4-1, 1.67, .935) have alternated starts in the past five series. … F Johnny Beecher, a 2019 Boston Bruins first-round draft pick, is out for the season because of a shoulder injury.

Randy Johnson