University of Minnesota forward Erik Haula - Minnesota Athletics
The top-ranked Golden Gophers are going with the same personnel that helped them take 3 of 4 points from North Dakota last weekend against in-state rival Minnesota State. The Mavericks, meanwhile, get Josh Nelson back after the defenseman missed 4 games.
Minnesota is making few changes against Minnesota State in the midst of a ten-game unbeaten streak. In fact, the top-ranked Gophers are going with the same personnel that they did against North Dakota last Saturday.
The lone position change Friday night comes on the top line where Kyle Rau (Florida Panthers) switches back to his natural left wing while Erik Haula (Minnesota Wild) moves to the right wing in an attempt to get more offense. Everything else remains the exact same; including Haula on the wing for the second straight week and Nate Condon (Colorado Avalanche) centering the second line in his place.
Minnesota State, meanwhile, gets back defenseman Josh Nelson after the junior missed the last four games. They'll also start Stephon Williams for the first time this season against the Gophers (Phil Cook started both games against Minnesota in November) in a battle of freshman goaltenders. Adam Wilcox (Tampa Bay Lightning) is expected to get the nod for the Gophers.
University of Minnesota Golden Gophers
Kyle Rau (#7) - Nick Bjugstad (#27) - Erik Haula (#19)
Sam Warning (#11) - Nate Condon (#16) - Zach Budish (#24)
Tom Serratore (#14) - Travis Boyd (#22) - Justin Holl (#12)
Brady Skjei (#2) - Nate Schmidt (#29)
Seth Helgeson (#4) - Ben Marshall (#10)
Adam Wilcox (#32)
Michael Shibrowski (#1)
Ryan Coyne (#31)
Minnesota State University Mavericks
Chase Grant (#21) - Matt Leitner (#18) - Johnny McInnis (#22)
J.P. Lafontaine (#12) - Teddy Blueger (#23) - Eriah Hayes (#25)
Brett Knowles (#24) - Zach Lehrke (#19) - Bryce Gervais (#9)
Dylan Margonari (#26) - Eli Zuck (#29) - Max Gaede (#8)
Tyler Elbrecht (#16) - Josh Nelson (#2)
Zach Palmquist (#7) - Evan Mosey (#17)
Brett Stern (#27) - Jon Jutzi (#28)
Goaltenders (bold indicates starter)
Stephon Williams (#35)
Phil Cook (#30)
Tonight's game begins at 7:00 p.m. CT and airs on BTN. Catch up before the game with Nathan Wells' preview of the series.
Follow Nate on Twitter for live updates from Mariucci Arena @gopherstate.