Series preview: Gophers women vs. Wisconsin
6 p.m. Friday, 4 p.m. Saturday, Ridder Arena * Stream: BTN-Plus both days
No. 1 Badgers vs. No. 2 Gophers
Gophers at a glance: No. 2-ranked Minnesota (9-4) is coming off a series split at No. 3 Ohio State and will try to rebound against a Wisconsin team that posted an emphatic sweep by 5-0 and 6-3 scores on Jan. 15 and 16 in Madison. The Gophers will try to reverse a trend against the Badgers, who have won four consecutive and eight of 12, including the 2019 NCAA championship. … Grace Zumwinkle leads the Gophers with nine goals and 12 points. Emily Oden (2-9-11), Taylor Heise (6-4-10) and Abbey Murphy (4-6-10) supply scoring depth. Goalie Lauren Bench has started 11 of 13 games and is 8-3 with a 2.01 goals-against average, .934 save percentage and two shutouts.
Badgers at a glance: The top-ranked Badgers (8-2) went through COVID-19 issues and had to postpone three series in December, including the original matchup at Ridder Arena. Since returning to play, they've posted a 7-1 record and have outscored opponents by a combined 32-10. … Daryl Watts, the 2018 Patty Kazmaier Award winner for Boston College, leads the nation with 2.1 points per game (11 goals, 10 assists). She had three goals and three assists in the series against the Gophers. Sophie Shirley (6-10-16) and Brette Pettet (7-7-14) had five and four points, respectively, in the Minnesota series. Kennedy Blair has started every game in goal and has a 1.36 GAA, .950 save percentage and three shutouts.