Series preview: Gophers women at Wisconsin

2 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Saturday, LaBahn Arena * TV: none Friday, FSN Saturday * Stream: BTN-Plus both days

Border Battle features No. 1 vs. No. 2

Gophers at a glance: Minnesota (8-1) took over the top spot in the U.S. College Hockey Online poll on Monday after beating St. Cloud State three times in four days, capped by a 4-0 win on Sunday in which Taylor Heise had a hat trick and Abbey Murphy had three assists. Heise (4-1-5) earned WCHA Forward of the Week honors, and Murphy (2-3-5) was named Rookie of the Week. Goalie Lauren Bench (0.96 goals-against average, .968 save percentage, two shutouts) stopped 43 of 44 shots over seven periods against the Huskies. … Defender Gracie Ostertag is questionable because of an injury. … The Gophers lead the all-time series against Wisconsin 53-41-12 but were 1-2-1 vs. the Badgers last season.

Badgers at a glance: COVID-19 issues ravaged Wisconsin's schedule, postponing three series. The No. 2-raanked Badgers (4-2) returned to action with a 3-2 and 1-0 sweep at Minnesota State Mankato on Jan. 2-3 before splitting last weekend's series against No. 3 Ohio State. Wisconsin won the opener 2-1 before dropping the finale by the same score. … Daryl Watts, the 2018 Patty Kazmaier Award winner for Boston College, had 25 goals and a nation's-best 49 assists last season. She paces the Badgers with four goals and three assists this season, one point ahead of Shirley Sophie (2-4-6) and two ahead of Nicole LaMantia (1-4-5). Goalie Kennedy Blair has started all six games and has a 1.34 GAA, .953 save percentage and two shutouts.

Randy Johnson