No. 1 Gophers Host No. 5 Boston College
Oct. 23, 2013
The No. 1 University of Minnesota men’s hockey program returns to action this weekend with a nonconference series against No. 5 Boston College at Mariucci Arena. The matchup of nationally ranked foes kicks off Friday at 7:10 p.m. CT (Big Ten Network, 1500 ESPN, BTN2Go.com) before concluding on Sunday afternoon at 1:10 p.m. (FOX Sports North, 1500 ESPN, BTN2Go.com).
Last Time Out
The Gophers picked up their first road sweep of the year last weekend with a pair of nonconference wins at Bemidji State. Minnesota opened the weekend with a 6-3 win over the Beavers before adding a 5-1 victory in the series finale on Saturday. Adam Wilcox picked up both wins for Minnesota, which improved its winning streak against Bemidji State to nine games as well as a 10-game unbeaten streak.
Big Rubber Match Weekend
While Minnesota is 15-12-2 all-time against Boston College, the last two years have seen both teams get the better of each other. After losing to the Eagles 6-1 in the 2012 Frozen Four semifinals in Tampa, the Gophers came back to best Boston College 8-1 on Dec. 30, 2012 in the Mariucci Classic title game. Minnesota is 9-1-0 all-time against Boston College on its home ice.
Junior Sam Warning is having an impressive start to the 2013-14 season -- the forward is tied with Kevin Roy of Northeastern for the NCAA scoring lead with nine points (five goals, four assists) in four games this season. Warning, who had five points over the weekend to earn Big Ten First Star of the Week honors, has tallied a point in every game this year and has had multiple points in three out of four contests. In two career games against Boston College, Warning has three points (one goal, two assists) -- tied for most among active Gophers with Kyle Rau (2-1--3).
Fasching, Kloos Pace Big Ten Rookies
Minnesota features three of the Big Ten’s top four scorers early in the season with freshmen Hudson Fasching and Justin Kloos tied for second in the league with Michigan’s Andrew Copp (behind Warning). Fasching and Kloos each have six points this season (two goals, four assists) each with Kloos tallying five points over the weekend to earn Big Ten Third Star of the Week honors.
Big Ten/Hockey East Challenge
This weekend’s series between the Gophers and the Eagles is part of the inaugural Big Ten/Hockey East Challenge. Eleven different institutions will participate in 13 designated games to be played between October 18-27, with six games in Hockey East arenas on the first weekend, followed by six games in Big Ten arenas and a single game on neutral ice on the second weekend. Points will be awarded as follows: two points for a win, one point for a tie and a bonus point for a road win. Should a Big Ten school utilize a shootout in any of its home games, it will not factor into the result. Should each conference record the same number of points, the results of the Penn State - Vermont game, played on neutral ice, will serve as the tie-breaker. Heading into the weekend, Hockey East leads the challenge 9-4.
No Place Like Home
The 2013-14 season marks the 20th campaign in which the Gophers have called Mariucci Arena home. The facility was officially opened on Aug. 21, 1993 with an alumni game. Since opening Mariucci Arena, the Gophers are 279-112-42 at their home rink. Recently, Minnesota went 14-3-3 at Mariucci Arena in 2012-13 while the team is 35-9-3 on home ice since the start of the 2011-12 season.
Wilcox Against the Best
In 43 career games played, Adam Wilcox has posted a 29-8-5 overall record. Out of those games, 19 have been played against nationally ranked opponents with the sophomore netminder recording an 11-6-2 record against ranked teams.
Hockey City Classic Tickets On Sale Now
TCF Bank Stadium and the University of Minnesota will host the state’s first outdoor college hockey games of the modern era on Jan. 17, 2014. The Gopher men’s program will host Ohio State at 8 p.m. with the Minnesota women’s program taking on Minnesota State earlier in the day. Minnesota has partnered with Intersport, who also hosted the 2013 Hockey City Classic at Soldier Field in Chicago, to put on the event. Tickets for the general public go on sale Tuesday, Oct. 22 and can be purchased at MyGophersports.com or by calling 612-624-8080.