#1 Minnesota (4-0-0) and #5 Boston College (2-1-0) kick off a two-game series from Mariucci Arena with both teams looking for early season dominance. The two teams have each lit up the lamp so far this season - the Eagles put up a nine spot against Wisconsin last weekend - and this weekend should be a good test of goaltending. Boston College is giving freshman goaltender Thatcher Demko the Friday nod while Gopher goalie Adam Wilcox is in net for Minnesota.
This weekend is also an opportunity for Minnesota to keep the dreaded #1 ranking. Seriously, no one wants the #1 ranking early in the season. Whether it's a target on the back or still wanting to prove oneself, there is a better chance of hearing a player be selfish than excitement over an honor than say they're happy with being n.
(And this is a positive honor too from the "always negative" media. Or something like that.)
Still, it won't be easy for the Gophers to be the first team this season to keep the top ranking for more than one weekend. Boston College lost to Minnesota 8-1 the last time the two teams played at Mariucci last December, however, the Eagles were without John Gaudreau (who was playing in the World Junior Championships) among others. BC also starts a blue line Friday with four underclassmen; including 3 freshmen.
The Gophers are going with the same Friday lineup as the past two weekends. It has worked so why fix it?
On a side note, the last time Minnesota was #1? February 2013. Boston College oddly enough was 5th.
University of Minnesota Golden Gophers
Sam Warning (#11) - Kyle Rau (#7) - Hudson Fasching (#24)
Nate Condon (#16) - Justin Kloos (#25) - Taylor Cammarata (#13)
Connor Reilly (#21) - Travis Boyd (#22) - Vinni Lettieri (#19)
Tom Serratore (#13) - A.J. Michaelson (#15) - Seth Ambroz (#17)
Brady Skjei (#2) - Justin Holl (#12)
Mike Reilly (#5) - Jake Parenteau (#6)
Ben Marshall (#10) - Michael Brodzinski (#20)
Adam Wilcox (#32)
Michael Shibrowski (#1)
Ryan Coyne (#31)
Boston College Eagles
Ryan Fitzgerald (#19) - Kevin Hayes (#12) - Austin Cangelosi (#26)
Johnny Gaudreau (#13) - Bill Arnold (#24) - Adam Gilmour (#14)
Quinn Smith (#27) - Patrick Brown (#23) - Chris Calnan (#11)
Destry Straight (#17) - Michael Sit (#18) - Brendan Silk (#9)
Ian McCsoshen (#3) - Michael Matheson (#5)
Isaac MacLeod (#7) - Danny Linell (#10)
Scott Savage (#28) - Stee Santini (#6)
Goaltenders (bold indicates starter)
Thatcher Demko (#30)
Brian Billett (#1)
This weekend's games count as part of the Big Ten-Hockey East Challenge, which Hockey East currently leads 9-4.
Tonight's game begins at 7 p.m. CT and is airing on the Big Ten Network and BTN2Go.com.
Follow SB Nation College Hockey reporter Nate Wells on Twitter @gopherstate for live Twitter updates from Mariucci Arena. You can also follow our main Twitter feed @sbncollegepuck for national updates throughout college hockey Friday night.