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Penn State vs. No. 8 Minnesota: Hockey Preview

The Nittany Lions and Gophers conclude their season series in Minneapolis

Penn State Athletics

The men’s hockey team comes out of its bye week with a road trip to No. 8 Minnesota. The teams split the first two games of their season series in State College back in December.

How to Watch

Opponent Preview

Since Penn State beat Minnesota 6-3 on December 2, the Gophers have gone 8-2-2 in their last 12 games. Last week, they split with Wisconsin to remain in third place in the Big Ten standings.

Minnesota is led by a quartet of double-digit goal scorers, including Jimmy Snuggerud (18 goals), Rhett Pitlick (15), Bryce Brodzinski (13), and Brody Lamb (11). The Gophers are especially deadly on the power play, scoring on 25% of their man-advantage opportunities this season.

Justin Klose has started all but one of Minnesota’s 28 games this season, posting a record of 15-7-5 with a .920 save percentage and 2.41 GAA. Penn State was able to crack him for five goals in the second game in Hockey Valley, but Klose has gone eight straight starts without giving up more than 3 goals.

Prediction

With a week of rest, I expect the Nittany Lions to play hard against a tough opponent, but winning in Minneapolis is a tough ask. I could see Penn State stealing one game, but I don’t think it has the goaltending to keep the Gophers’ big guns off the scoreboard enough.

Minnesota 6-3, Minnesota 5-3