One elephant this weekend has been Minnesota playing with five defensemen. Brady Skjei (New York Rangers draft pick), however, believes the Gophers being shorthanded should not an issue while he is gone and Jake Parenteau is injured.
In fact, it could be beneficial for the two freshmen defensemen that have been fighting to get in the lineup.
"It'll be good for the guys that are around when I'm gone. The five guys who are here will get some time to play, which will be good," Skjei told SB Nation College Hockey before leaving for Sweden When I get back we'll have six D and everyone will be playing so it won't be as much pressure, but there's still pressure to make those jumps and show the coaches.
He added, "It'll be good for the five guys, especially the young guys - Bischoff and Brodzinski - they've been playing quite a bit."
Whether or not that is just a hope remains to be seen, but the fact remains Minnesota has a different lineup against Colgate and it includes not five, but six defensemen.
With Skjei and Hudson Fasching (Los Angeles Kings) not back from the World Juniors (USA was eliminated yesterday, but as of right now they aren't being counted on playing tomorrow either), the Gophers will have sophomore Ryan Reilly suit up on defense against Colgate in addition to the normal.
Up front, Minnesota gets back two players from injury. Both Tom Serratore and Vinni Lettieri return from injury that caused them to miss the Michigan State series last month.
Seth Ambroz (Columbus Blue Jackets), meanwhile, takes Fasching's place on the first line. The junior leads Minnesota with 8 goals this season and is now playing with the line that has produced the most points to maintain a potent top-six. (Sam Warning leads the Gophers with 20 points this season.)
Colgate has freshman Charlie Finn, who is splitting time with Eric Mihalik, in net. The Gophers counter with Adam Wilcox (Tampa Bay Lightning).
University of Minnesota Golden Gophers
Sam Warning (#11) - Kyle Rau (#7) Seth Ambroz (#17)
Nate Condon (#16) - Justin Kloos (#25) - Taylor Cammarata (#13)
Connor Reilly (#21) - Travis Boyd (#22) - Vinni Lettieri (#19)
Tom Serratore (#14) - Gabe Guertler (#27) - Christian Isackson (#26)
Ben Marshall (#10) - Justin Holl (#12)
MIke Reilly (#5) - Michael Brodzinski (#20)
Jake Bischoff (#28) - Ryan Reilly (#9)
Adam Wilcox (#32)
Michael Shibrowski (#1)
Ryan Coyne (#31)
Colgate University Raiders
Tyson Spink (#8) - Tylor Spink (#18) - Kyle Baun (#12)
Darcy Murphy (#15) - Mike Borkowski (#21) - Daniel Gentzler (#13)
Joe Wilson (#25) - Andrew Black (#26) - Tim Harrison (#27)
Derek Freeman (#16) - John Lidgett (#14) - Mike McCann (#19)
Brendan Corcoran (#3) - Ryan Johnston (#7)
Brett Corkey (#20) - Kevin Lough (#4)
Jake Kulevich (#11) - Spiro Goulakos (#6)
Charlie Finn (#1)
Eric Mihalik (#29)
Tonight's game begins at 7:00 p.m. CT and airs on Fox Sports North. Follow Nate on Twitter @gopherstate for live updates.
For a preview of this weekend's Mariucci Classic, click here.