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North Star College Cup: Minnesota vs Minnesota State Pregame Notes

Minnesota is going back to some old line combinations with Vinni Lettieri suspended in Friday's second NSCC semifinal. The Mavericks, meanwhile, look for the program's first-ever win at Xcel Energy Center.

Matt Christians

Don Lucia's line combination experiment lasted all of two games before reverting back.

The Gophers are using some familiar lines with Hudson Fasching playing with Kyle Rau, Justin Kloos and Taylor Cammarata reunited, and Travis Boyd and Seth Ambroz because sophomore forward Vinni Lettieri is suspended a game by the Big Ten for his role in last Saturday's last minute altercation against Wisconsin.

Additionally, Ryan Collins is scratched from the lineup on defense. Lucia said earlier in the week that he was ill and that the team would make a decision before the weekend. Instead, Brady Skjei and Mike Reilly are together on a pairing for the first time in recent memory. The "super pairing" will try to shut down Minnesota State's depth and offense which is averaging 3.74 goals per game (3rd in the nation behind Michigan and Robert Morris).

It's the first time the Gophers play the #1 team in the country since Boston College on December 30, 2012. The Mavericks, meanwhile, are trying to win for the first time ever at Xcel Energy Center.

For Minnesota State, Jean-Paul Lafontaine is back in the lineup after being a "coaches decision" last weekend. Otherwise it's a continuation of consistency head coach Mike Hastings has had with the Mavericks, which are 13-1-1 (1 No Contest) in the last 15 games. Stephon Williams appears to be getting the start for his 19th game this season for the Mavericks.

In net for the Gophers is Adam Wilcox.

Minnesota State Mavericks

Forwards:

Chase Grant (#21) - Teddy Blueger (#23) - Jean-Paul Lafontaine

C.J. Franklin (#15) - Matt Leitner (#18) - Bryce Gervais (#9)

Zach Stepan (#25) - Dylan Margonari (#26) - Brad McClure (#19)

Brett Knowles (#24) - Jordan Nelson (#16) - Max Gaede (#8)

Defense

Brett Stern (#27) - Blake Thompson (#3)

Zach Palmquist (#7) - Carter Foguth (#5)

Jon Jutzi (#28) - Casey Nelson (#6)

Goaltender (bold indicates starter):

Stephon WIlliams (#35)

Cole Huggins (#34)

University of Minnesota Golden Gophers

Forwards

Connor Reilly (#21) - Kyle Rau (#7) - Hudson Fasching (#24)

Sam Warning (#11) - Justin Kloos (#25) - Taylor Cammarata (#13)

Leon Bristedt (#18) - Travis Boyd (#22) - Seth Ambroz (#17)

A.J. Michaelson (#15) - Christian Isackson (#26) - Ryan Reilly (#9)

Defense

Brady Skjei (#2) - Mike Reilly (#5)

Ben Marshall (#10) - Jake Bischoff (#28)

Steve Johnson (#4) - Michael Brodzinski (#20)

Goaltending (bold indicates starter)

Adam Wilcox (#32)

Nick Lehr (#34)

Ryan Coyne (#31)

The winner of this game plays the winner of Minnesota Duluth and Bemidji State on Saturday night. Fox Sports North+ will broadcast tonight's game with Doug McLeod and Ben Clymer on the call.

Follow Chris Dilks (@chrisdilks), Matt Christians (@matt_christians) and Nate Wells (@gopherstate) for live coverage all weekend from Xcel Energy Center.