Big Ten hockey tournament championship: No. 1 Gophers vs. No. 4 Michigan
7 p.m. Saturday, 3M Arena at Mariucci; TV: BTN; Radio: 103.5-FM, 1130-AM
Gophers update: Minnesota (26-8-1) is seeking its second conference tournament title in three years and third overall. The Gophers will try to avenge their 4-3 loss to Michigan in last year's Big Ten title game. Minnesota is 3-1 against Michigan this season. As regular-season champions, the Gophers received a first-round tournament bye before topping Michigan State 5-1 in the semifinals. Hobey Baker Award final-10 candidates Matthew Knies and Logan Cooley, plus linemate Jimmy Snuggerud, have combined for 59 goals and 79 assists. Brock Faber, the Big Ten's Defensive Player of the Year, leads a deep blue line, which returns Jackson LaCombe (eight goals, 23 assists) from a lower-body injury. Goalie Justen Close has won five straight starts, allowing six goals in that span. … The game is sold out.
Michigan update: The Wolverines (23-11-3) swept Wisconsin 6-5 in overtime and 7-4 in the Big Ten quarterfinals before topping Ohio State 7-3 in the semifinals. Michigan is 11-4-2 since Jan. 16. Adam Fantilli, another Hobey Baker final-10 candidate, leads the nation in scoring (27-33-60), and the freshman has seven goals and three assists in the Big Ten tournament. Defenseman Luke Hughes (9-33-42) is second on the team in scoring, two points ahead of forward Mackie Samoskevich (19-21-40). Goalie Erik Portillo has allowed four or more goals in 14 of 34 starts and three or more 20 times. … There are a combined 26 NHL draftees on Michigan's and Minnesota's rosters, 12 for the Wolverines and 14 for the Gophers.