No. 8 Penn State Hockey drops the puck against the No. 1 ranked Minnesota Gophers on Thursday night, Nov. 10.
Thursday’s game marks two weekends in a row that Penn State Hockey has the opportunity to knock off the No. 1 nationally ranked team, after splitting a series with Michigan last weekend.
Both games will be played in Minneapolis, Minnesota for the 39th and 40th matchup of all-time between both clubs.
The Nittany Lions are 6-13-0 all-time in Mariucci Arena, a tough away environment to attend.
Before Michigan came to Pegula last weekend, it was more than five years since a No. 1 ranked team skated into Happy Valley. Both teams have high-flying offenses, with Penn State Hockey averaging 4.30 goals per game through 10 games, and Minnesota averaging 3.80, good for seventh in the nation.
Even without the roar zone, the Nittany Lions should be fired up for this one.
Prediction: Penn State Splits Series 1-1
Kevin Wall – Forward – Penn State – Senior
Kevin Wall currently has 10 points on the season, 6 goals, and four assists. This trails only Ture Linden, his linemate, for the most points on the team. Coincidentally, he has 10 points in his career against the Minnesota Gophers. His six goals also lead the Nittany Lions in scoring, look for Wall to score another goal in this exciting top-10 matchup.
Ryan Kirwan & Ben Schoen – Forwards – Penn State – Sophomores
Kirwan is a sophomore forward with eight points on the season. Last year he tallied four points in five games against the Gophers, while Ben Schoen added four assists in five games. Last season Schoen had 22 points (6 goals, 16 assists) in 37 games played. He is already on pace to break that career high with (2 goals, and 7 assists) in 10 games played this season.
Jimmy Snuggerud – Forward – Minnesota – Freshman
Jimmy spent the last two seasons playing for the USA National Development Program. He finished seventh on the 2021-2022 USA NDP team in scoring with 63 points (24 goals, 39 assists) in 59 games played. He currently has (8 goals, and 4 assists) in 12 games played for the Gophers this season.
Justen Close – Goaltender – Minnesota – Senior
Close is a senior goaltender from Kindersley, Saskatchewan that played for the Kindersley Klippers in the SJHL before attending the University of Minnesota. He truly started to shine last season when he started 21 games for the Gophers, earning a save percentage of .925 with a 1.95 goals-against average. Picking up right where he left off, he currently has a .919 save percentage through the first nine games. He’s coming off a big weekend of stopping 45/46 shots where Minnesota swept the Fighting Irish.
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