Series Preview: Minnesota Duluth

Minnesota will host in-state rival Minnesota Duluth this weekend at Mariucci Arena. The puck will drop both nights at 7:00 p.m. Each game will be televised by FOX Sports North PLUS.

UMD (10-16-4 overall, 8-12-4 WCHA) vs. No. 2 Minnesota (20-6-4 overall, 12-6-4 WCHA)
Minneapolis, Minnesota – Mariucci Arena
Friday 7:00 p.m. CT – FOX Sports North PLUS
Saturday 7:00 p.m. CT – FOX Sports North PLUS

QUOTEABLES

"I think they're a really good skating team. They're probably as good a skating team as we've seen. A couple of their freshmen have played a high impact role on their team. They've got some veteran defenseman that have been through it the last number of years. I think the big thing is they haven't scored on a consistent basis throughout their lineup this year. Their top end is very good, and their team speed is as good as anybody." – Minnesota head coach Don Lucia on Minnesota Duluth

"Coaches talked to us yesterday and said they're a lot better than their record shows. They won a national championship here two years ago, so a lot of their guys still on the team, so they know what it takes to win big games. They maybe don't have the greatest record right now, but they're a better team than their record shows, and they've got some talented players." – Minnesota captain Zach Budish on UMD

PREGAME NOTES

Storyline
With the Bulldogs far out of the WCHA race, Minnesota Duluth will look to play the role of spoiler this weekend as they take on the Gophers. As Minnesota eyes the top of the standings, the Bulldogs will make the trip to Minneapolis in an effort to pick up a couple points against the favored Golden Gophers.

Season to Date
UMD has had a disappointing season in 2012-2013. The Bulldogs are just 10-16-4 and are currently eighth in the conference with a dismal record of 8-12-4. Minnesota Duluth is winless in their last seven games, only picking up one point during that time thanks to a 1-1 tie against Bemidji.

Coaching Preview
Scott Sandelin is in his 13th season behind the bench for the Bulldogs. The University of North Dakota graduate has amassed a 217-210-56 record with UMD. While at Duluth, Sandelin has coached two Hobey Baker winners and led the Bulldogs to a NCAA title in 2011, the first in program history.

Last Meeting
The Gophers and Bulldogs have not met since October of 2011. Early last season, Minnesota swept UMD with a pair of 5-4 victories in Duluth. Kyle Rau and Nate Condon each scored three goals on the weekend while Nick Bjugstad tallied five points in the two games.

Series History
Friday will be the 219th meeting between the in-state rivals. Minnesota has been dominant in the series, compiling a record of 131-72-15 when playing against the Bulldogs.

Background
Location: Duluth, Minn.
Enrollment: 9,452
Conference: WCHA
Mascot: 'Champ' the Bulldog
Colors: Maroon and Gold
Coach: Scott Sandelin (13th Season)


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