- Sep 9, 2015
- Reaction score
The No. 8/9 University of Minnesota men's hockey team returns to 3M Arena at Mariucci for a home series against Penn State, a team receiving votes, Feb. 9-10...
HISTORY WITH THE NITTANY LIONS
Minnesota and Penn State first met with the inception of the Big Ten Conference in 2014 and the Gophers lead the all-time series with a record of 25-18-1 (.580). All 44 meetings between the two teams have come with at least one team ranked and this series is no different as the Maroon and Gold are ranked No. 8/9 in the national polls. Minnesota and PSU are both 6-6-0 in the last 12 regular-season meetings at 3M Arena at Mariucci, including a split in four of the last six series in Minneapolis. The Gophers have won the final game of each home series versus the Nittany Lions in six of the past seven matchups. Earlier this season, Minnesota won the opener on the road at PSU, 4-1, before falling in the finale, 6-3. Rhett Pitlick paced the Gophers with five points on two goals and three assists against the Nittany Lions, while Bryce Brodzinski, Luke Mittelstadt, and Jimmy Snuggerud all had points in both games of the weekend series back in December.
INSIDE LOOK AT PENN STATE
The Nittany Lions swept a home series with Ohio State in their last action in late January, winning both games by a 4-3 scoreline, and come to 3M Arena at Mariucci following their bye week. The wins over OSU snapped a six-game losing streak in Big Ten play as Penn State sits in sixth place in the league standings. Despite holding the 10th-best scoring offense in the nation, averaging 3.6 goals per game, the team is 59th in the country defensively as it allows 3.7 goals per game to the opposition. Aiden Fink remains one of the NCAA's top scoring freshmen and leads the Nittany Lions with 32 points, aided by eight power-play tallies, and is averaging a point per game in B1G outings. Three other PSU players have reached the 20-point mark this year, while Liam Souliere is back to being the full-time netminder. The senior has registered a 9-7-1 record in goal behind a 3.53 goals-against average and a .862 save percentage.