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Pride on Ice Preview: Gophers Host High-Powered Penn State

02/03/2017, 9:15am CST
By Grant Erickson and Travis Erickson

No. 4/6 Penn State (16-4-2 overall, 5-2-1 Big Ten) vs. No. 7 Minnesota (15-7-2 overall, 6-2-0 Big Ten)

Date: Friday, Feb. 3, 2017
Location: Mariucci Arena | Minneapolis, Minn.
Puck Drop: 7:05 p.m. CT
TV: FOX Sports North PLUS
Stream: BTN2Go, FOX Sports Go
Radio: 1500 ESPN, Gopher Radio Network

Date: Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017
Location: Mariucci Arena | Minneapolis, Minn.
Puck Drop: 7:03 p.m. CT
Stream: BTN2Go, FOX Sports Go
Radio: 1500 ESPN, Gopher Radio Network

INSIDE THE MATCHUP
The Gophers are 9-3-0 in the all-time series but lost their last game against the Nittany Lions, 5-3.

Playing at Mariucci has been good for the Maroon and Gold. They are 5-1 with 20-10 goal advantage in homes games against Penn State.

It’s a battle of the high-powered offenses this weekend. Penn State leads the country with 4.41 goals per game while the Gophers are fifth at 3.71.

Once the top-ranked team in the nation, the Nittany Lions are winless in their last three and have given up a combined 11 goals in their last two contests.

The PSU offense numbers are impressive, but their shot statistics are insane. Penn State is putting up 48 shots per game.

The Nittany Lions are a young squad; 72 of their 97 goals have come from sophomores and freshmen.

Part of the reason for that production is sophomore Andrew Sturtz who has an amazing 17 goals in 20 games played this season.

STORYLINE CENTRAL
Gordon Brunskill of the Centre Daily Times documents Penn State’s recent defensive struggles.

Even after the recent skid, the Nittany Lions are still confident heading into the weekend matchup. Kara Duriez of with the Daily Collegian has the latest on Penn State’s mindset.

Just over three years ago, the Gophers swept the Nittany Lions in State College. Enjoy some highlights of the series clincher.

QUOTES
Don Lucia

On Penn State:
“They are very much a volume-shooting team. They go to the net as well as anybody. It’s something our goaltender has to do a good job with rebound control, kicking pucks away, taking whistles. From a defensive standpoint, we’re going to have to do a good job boxing out and taking care of the area in the blue paint. We need good, clean retrievals and getting out of our own zone.

“Good team. They put themselves in a great position. For us, we’re stressing team defense, discipline. Taking care of the puck, how important that is this time of year as we get down to the end.”

Ryan Collins
On Penn State:
“It’s always fun to play against good teams and Penn State’s one of them. They’re definitely up and coming in the Big Ten, they’ve proven that the last few years that they’re going to be a tough opponent to play against. That’s good for us and that’s good for the Big Ten.”

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Tag(s): Gopher Football