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Series Preview: Minnesota Gophers Host Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs

Former Western Collegiate Hockey Association intrastate rivals, the Minnesota Golden Gophers and Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs, will square off for the 221st and 222nd games at Mariucci Arena in an overall series owned by Minnesota 132-72-16.

Minnesota vs Minnesota Duluth | 1966 Faceoff
Minnesota vs Minnesota Duluth | 1966 Faceoff
Photo Courtesy: UMD Athletics

The #1 ranked University of Minnesota Golden Gophers host the #19 ranked Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs.

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The Series

The Series began back on Dec. 1, 1952 when John Mariucci brought his Gopher squad to faceoff against Gord Eddolls' Bulldogs. Since then, the former Western Collegiate Hockey Association rivals 220 games, not counting this weekend's matchup. The Minnesota Golden Gophers own the all-time record at 132-72-16.

It’s been almost a half century since UMD and Minnesota last collided in a non-conference series. On Feb. 5-6, 1965, the host Gophers swept the Bulldogs. UMD joined the WCHA the following season and became league partners with Minnesota in the following year.

Don Lucia is 35-22-6 all-time against UMD (25-16-6 at Minnesota, 10-4-0 at Colorado College and 0-2-0 while with the Alaska-Fairbanks program).

In the last 10 meetings, Minnesota is 5-2-3 while the Gophers have a four-game unbeaten streak (2-0-2) against Minnesota Duluth with the team’s last loss to the Bulldogs at Mariucci Arena occurring on Nov. 21, 2009 in a 3-2 loss.

UMD’s last shutout against Minneapolis came on Feb. 23, 1973. Goaltender Jerome Mrazek stopped a whopping 52 shots in backstopping the Bulldogs to an 8-0 win that night.

The Gophers are 73-31-10 mark against the Bulldogs on home ice.

The University of Minnesota Golden Gophers

Offense

Sam Warning has tallied a point in all 10 games for the Gophers this season and his 10-game point streak is a career-long.  Warning also leads the team in total points, with 17, but Hudson Fasching has buried the most goals (6).  The 8 Gopher Freshmen have scored 19 goals for the Gophers for 48 total points this season, which puts them at 41.7% of Minnesota's overall scoring.

Nate Condon, Sam Warning, Mile Reilly, and Hudson Fasching are the individual class leaders, totally 45 points in the combined effort, or 39.1% of total offense.

Between the Pipes

In 48 career games played, Adam Wilcox has posted a 32-9-6 overall record. Out of those games, 23 have been played against nationally ranked opponents with the sophomore netminder recording an 13-7-3 record against ranked teams with No. 19 Minnesota Duluth coming to Mariucci Arena this weekend.

Final Notes

Senior Nate Condon leads all active Gophers with nine points (five goals, four assists) in eight career games against Minnesota Duluth, followed by Kyle Rau who has tallied 4 points.

Tom Serratore snapped a 17-game goal drought on Saturday, dating back to last year’s series against Minnesota Duluth (2/23/13).

The University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs

Offense

Led by captains Joe Basaraba and Adam Krause, the Bulldog offensive unit looks to improve weekend after weekend.  The Bulldogs seven rookies are collectively averaging 3.2 points per game, which ranks them fifth in the country in that category.  Freshmen Alex Iafallo, Willie Raskob, Dominic Toninato, and Kyle Osterberg have a combined for 26 points this season.

Junior right winger Adam Krause, who came into last Friday night’s bout at North Dakota with two collegiate goals to his name (in 74 outings), scored three times during the weekend.

The Bulldogs also sport the 4th best shot differential in the country at +8.80, peppering opponents, on average, with 32.2 shots per game.

Defense

Senior defenseman Tim Smith leads all 2013-14 Bulldogs in plus-minus rating (+8) and is a team-leading +17 for his career.

Between the Pipes

Senior goaltender Aaron Crandall has now made seven consecutive starts -- a career high -- after sophomore Matt McNeely filled the starting role during the first three games of 2013-14.

Final Notes

UMD hasn’t played at home since Oct. 25-26 and won’t return to AMSOIL Arena until Dec. 6. The Bulldogs still have this weekend’s series at Minnesota along with a bye weekend (Nov. 29-30) before then.

Rookie right winger Sammy Spurrell has scored on two of his four shots on net this season and both of those goals have turned out to be game winners.

All but one of Alex Iafallo’s team-leading 10 points this season have been registered on the road.

The Bulldogs are 3-1-1 in rematch games this season and have averaged 3.6 goals per outing. In contrast, they are 2-3-0 on Friday nights while scoring at a 2.0 goals a game clip.

Line Combinations

Minnesota reunites a line from last season . Junior forward Travis Boyd is joined on the third line by senior Tom Serratore and junior Seth Ambroz. The move paid off for Minnesota in Saturday's 3-0 win over Minnesota State when Lucia put them together for the last ten minutes. Up 1-0, Serratore scored his first goal of the year to give the Gophers an insurance goal needed.

"It's an easy move to make in-game," Minnesota's coach said after Saturday's game.

Other moves for Minnesota include Gabe Guertler returning after being scratched Saturday in place of Christian Isackson and Connor Reilly sitting for A.J. Michaelson. Michaelson hasn't played for the Gophers since November 9 at Notre Dame. He has sat four of the last five games.

On defense, Jake Parenteau sits.

Adam Wilcox starts in net for Minnesota after Michael Shibrowski ended his 47 game start streak last Saturday.

University of Minnesota Golden Gophers

Forwards

Sam Warning (#11) - Kyle Rau (#7) - Hudson Fasching (#24)

Nate Condon (#16) - Justin Kloos (#25) - Taylor Cammarata(#13)

Tom Serratore (#14) - Travis Boyd (#22) - Seth Ambroz (#17)

A.J. Michaelson (#15) - Gabe Guertler (#27) - Vinni Lettieri (#19)

Defense

Brady Skjei (#2) - Justin Holl (#12)

Mike Reilly (#5) - Jake Bischoff (#28

Michael Brodzinski (#20) - Ben Marshall (#10)

Goaltenders

Adam Wilcox (#32)

Michael Shibrowski (#1)

Ryan Coyne (#31)

University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs

Forwards

Austin Farley (#11) - Tony Cameranesi (#13) - Adam Krause (#26)

Kyle Osterberg (#8) - Caleb Herbert (#21) - Justin Crandall (#25)

Alex Iafallo (#14) - Dominic Toninato (#17) - Joe Basaraba (#18)

Charlie Sampair (#24) - Cal Decowski (#27) - Sammy Spurrell (#28)

Defense

Willie Corrin (#5) - Andy Welinski (#7)

Tim Smith (#16) - Willie Raskob (#15)

Luke McManus (#22) - Derik Johnson (#6)

Goaltenders

Aaaron Crandall (#1)

Matt McNeely (#36)


Both Matt Christians and Nathan Wells are live at Mariucci Arena.