With the loss of Zach Budish to an ACL tear, expect more action for Matson and Condon which should lead to more points for the Gophers. If Minnesota can continue to get contribution from guys like Matson and Condon, while adding the scoring of Jay Barriball and Mike Hoeffel the Gophers could be looking at a sweep in this weekend's border battler.
Minnesota's recent offensive surge will have to compete against a tough defensive Badger team. Wisconsin is ranked first in the WCHA in only giving up 1.88 goals per game. The Badgers accomplish this partially due to their physical and aggressive style of play. The team leads the conference in penalty minutes with 155 on the year. Fans can expect more of the same when Wisconsin comes to the Twin Cities to play.
The Badgers enter Friday with a record of 4-2-1 but the majority of their wins have come against below average teams. One player to who has been playing well from Wisconsin is junior defenseman Jake Gardiner. Jake is the older brother of Gopher freshman Max Gardiner. Jake Gardiner is a solid defenseman who doesn't have a problem scoring or setting up his teammates. On the season, Gardiner has two goals and six assists for eight points while compiling a plus-10 plus-minus rating. Gardiner will no doubt play a huge part in the game while playing in his home state.
If the Gophers want to win they will need to take advantage of the Badger penalties. If the Gophers can continue their offensive dominance, they should be able to hold the Badgers to a minimal number of goals and come away with a win. Minnesota will come out strong on Friday and scrape a 3-2 win away from Wisconsin. On Saturday, the Badgers will score early but the Gophers will battle back for a 4-3 win and a series sweep.
Coach Don Luccia and Zach Budish discuss the injury that may sideline the star forward for the remainder of the season...