Minnesota head coach Don Lucia stated after Saturday's 7-1 win over Alaska-Anchorage that assistant captain Erik Haula (Minnesota Wild) would be a game-time decision for this weekend's series against North Dakota; the final one in the forseeable future.
Turns out that game-time decision is "in."
Haula, who leads the Gophers with 26 points (9G-17A), returns following a 3 games absence with an "upper body injury." Instead of playing as a second line center, however, he is playing on the top line as the left wing; moving Kyle Rau (Florida Panthers) to the right. It's a move that limits the number of face-offs Haula would have to take and keeps Nate Condon (Colorado Avalanche) in the middle with Sam Warning and Zach Budish (Nashville Predators)
North Dakota, meanwhile, has junior Derek Rodwell in the lineup for the first time since December 15th against Michigan Tech. He's on the fourth line with Connor Gaarder and Dan Senkbeil. At the same time, UND leading scorers Corban Knight (Panthers) and Danny Kristo (Montreal Canadiens) are on a line together.
Goalies are currently unknown although betting odds are that Adam Wilcox (Tampa Bay Lightning) and Clarke Saunders get the start for Minnesota and UND, respectively. Both led their teams out for warmups.
University of Minnesota Golden Gophers
Erik Haula (#19) - Nick Bjugstad (#27) - Kyle Rau (#7)
Sam Warning (#11) - Nate Condon (#16) - Zach Budish (#24)
Tom Serratore (#14) - Travis Boyd (#22) - Justin Holl (#12)
Seth Helgeson (#4) - Ben Marshall (#10)
Brady Skjei (#2) - Nate Schmidt (#29)
Adam Wilcox (#32)
Michael Shibrowski (#1)
Ryan Coyne (#31)
University of North Dakota
Mitch MacMillan (#25) - Corban Knight (#10) - Danny Kristo (#7)
Drake Caggiula (#9) - Stephane Pattyn (#28) - Rocco Grimaldi (#19)
Dan Senkbeil (#8) - Connor Gaarder (#13) - Derek Rodwell (#11)
Andrew MacWilliam (#2) - Nick Mattson (#5)
Dillon Simpson (#18) - Joe Gleason (#20)
Clarke Saunders (#33)
Zane Gothberg (#31)
Tonight's game begins at 7:00 p.m. CT and will be broadcast on Fox Sports North
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