The Gophers will be in Madison later this week to conclude their regular-season series with the Badgers. Minnesota swept Wisconsin at Mariucci Arena back in November. Coach Don Lucia and members of the team met with the media Tuesday afternoon to preview the Boarder Battle.
Games against Wisconsin are traditionally tight, defensive affairs.
"We know that we are going to have to win a 2-1 or 3-1 type of game," Lucia said. "For us to be effective this is the type of weekend where Hudson Fasching and Seth Ambroz, guys who are big and strong around the net, need to score some goals."
The Badgers have made good use of home ice this season, compiling a 13-2-1 record. "It is a good environment for our guys to play in. It will be especially good for our young guys to be put in that environment," Lucia said. The Gophers have won at least one game at the Kohl Center every season since 2007-08.
Captain Nate Condon will play collegiate hockey in Madison for the last time this weekend. He will do so in front of an estimated 20 family members. "It is always fun to go back and play because a bunch of my family is there," Condon said. "(Current Badgers) are the guys I played with in youth hockey, so it has always been fun to play against them."
Seth Ambroz scored four goals against the Badgers during the November series, including both game winners. "The biggest thing is that the team comes out with a pair of wins. Hopefully, I can contribute as much as possible and continue being successful against Wisconsin," Ambroz said. "Everything is just a little bit more important when it is a rivalry,"
Goaltender Adam Wilcox posted his sixth career shutout on Saturday against Michigan State. "Adam is pretty consistent. I think that is the one trait I like most about him," Lucia said. Wilcox's play over the past couple of weeks has allowed the Gophers to win games despite the offense's lack of rhythm. "Wilcox has been playing really well and that is great, but we do have to find our game offensively and put a few more goals in," Ambroz said.
The injury report remains unchanged from last week. Minnesota will be without the services of Tom Serratore and Michael Brodzinski, but everyone else is available for the trip to Madison.
The schedule throws another curveball at the Gophers this week with games on Thursday and Friday. Thursday's action gets underway at 7:30 p.m. CT and Friday's contest will begin at 8 p.m. CT. The Big Ten Network will broadcast both games live. Fans can listen to Wally Shaver and Frank Mazzocco call the games on 1500 ESPN.
Story by University of Minnesota Communications Intern Josh Brennock