GOPHERS RETURN TO ACTION AGAINST WAYNE STATE
The University of Minnesota women’s hockey team returns to action after nearly a month off from competition when it travels to Wayne State, Jan. 5-6 in Detroit, Mich. The Golden Gophers will face the Warriors at 1 p.m. both days at the City Sports Center.
The series marks the first time these two teams have faced each other in school history. Wayne State, a member of the College Hockey America conference started its program in the 1999-2000 campaign.
ON THE DOCKET
The Gophers will return home for the first time since Dec. 1 when Boston College comes to town, Jan. 12-13. It is the first meeting against Boston College since Jan. 15, 1998. BC was a Frozen Four contender last year and are tied for second in the Hockey East conference. Both games will be at 1 p.m. at Ridder Arena.
GOPHERS ALL-TIME AGAINST NON-CONFERENCE OPPONENTS
Minnesota holds a 128-32-10 all-time against non-conference opponents, dating back to the 1997-98 season. The Wayne State series is the Gophers’ third non-conference opponent this season. MInnesota defeated Northeastern, 5-3, and Boston University, 4-2 in the Nike Bauer Women’s Classic, Oct. 5-6.
GOPHERS AGAINST THE CHA
Although it’s Minnesota’s first time facing Wayne State, the Gophers are 9-1-1 against teams from the College Hockey America conference. The Gophers hold a 6-0-0 record all-time against Mercyhurst and a 3-1-1 against Niagara, both members of the CHA. The only other team that the Gophers have not faced from the CHA is Robert Morris.
WAYNE STATE WARRIORS
Wayne State enters the series with an 8-5-1 overall record. The Warriors have had an even longer break than the Gophers, registering a win and a loss against Colgate on Nov. 23-24 for their last competition. WSU has yet to play a conference opponent this season, opening the 2007-08 year with a two-game loss to Clarkson. After sweeping Union and Cornell, WSU fell to St. Lawrence, Nov. 2-3. The Gophers and Warriors shared a common opponent in Northeastern. WSU swept Northeastern, 6-2 and 7-2 on Nov. 11, while the Gophers opened the season against the Huskies with a 5-3 win.
Wayne State has three of the nation’s top scorers all on the same line. Melissa Boal leads the team with 33 points, followed by Sam Poyton with 32 points and Lindsay DiPietro with 29. Boal leads the nation in points per game, averaging 2.54. Poyton is third overall with 2.29 points per game and DiPietro is ranked fifth with 2.07 points per game in 14 games played. Goaltender Tiffany Thompson has seen action in 10 games played and holds an 88.9 save percentage and a 2.87 goals against average.
On special teams, the Warriors have scored 15 power-play goals in 76 chances (19.7%) and hold 78.3 % on the penalty kill.