Big Ten Second Star of the Week Matthew Knies tallied five points in the Penn State series and now leads Minnesota with 14 points this season while his seven goals are tied for the team lead and are also tied for most among NCAA freshmen. The forward has tallied a goal in three-straight games and four of the last five contests while he’s also currently riding a five-game point streak with nine points (four goals, five assists) over that stretch. Knies factored into five of Minnesota’s seven goals last weekend against the Nittany Lions.
AGAINST THE FIGHTING HAWKS
A series that began in 1930 will hit a significant milestone this weekend as Minnesota and North Dakota are set to play their 299th and 300th game against each other. The Maroon & Gold hold a 148-134-16 all-time record against the Fighting Hawks.
CRUIKSHANK RETURNS FOR MILESTONE MARKER
After missing the last six games with an injury, Grant Cruikshank is expected to return to the Gophers lineup this weekend and will likely skate in his 100th career game on Saturday. The forward, who scored in his last game, has three points (two goals, one assist) in eight games this year with Minnesota and has 48 career points (32 goals, 16 assists) in 98 NCAA games following three seasons at Colorado College.
Minnesota’s active leading scorer with 95 points (41goals, 54 assists) in 119 games, Sammy Walker needs five points to become the 85th member of the U’s 100-Point Club (first since Rem Pitlick in 2018-19). Coming off a two-goal game, Minnesota is 4-0-0 when Walker has multiple goals and 21-3-1 when he has multiple points.
NHL UPDATE: REEDY MAKES NHL DEBUT
Scott Reedy made his NHL debut on Monday with the San Jose Sharks to become the 117th Gopher Hockey alum to skate in the NHL (a statistic that leads all college hockey programs). Minnesota has now boasted 22 alums in the NHL this season (already matching last year’s season total) while Reedy is the second Gopher Hockey alum to make his NHL debut this season (Tommy Novak, Nashville) and the second member of last year’s team to play in the NHL (Sampo Ranta, Colorado).
GOPHERS EXTEND MOTZKO THROUGH 2025-26
The University of Minnesota has agreed to a three-year contract extension with Gopher men’s hockey head coach Bob Motzko that will keep Motzko with the Maroon & Gold through the 2025-26 season. A native of Austin, Minn., Motzko is in his fourth season with the Gophers and holds a 66-43-11 record since taking over the program in 2018. In 17 seasons as a Division I head coach, the 2020 Big Ten Coach of the Year and five-time conference coach of the year owns a 342-235-60 record.
PRESEASON BIG TEN PROSPECTUS
The Gophers landed on the top spot of the 2021-22 Big Ten Hockey Coaches’ Poll earlier this season ahead of Michigan, Wisconsin, Notre Dame, Penn State, Michigan State and Ohio State. In the eight-year history of the Big Ten Conference, the Gophers have claimed a league-high four regular-season conference championships as well as two Big Ten tournament titles including last year’s thrilling playoff run by the Maroon & Gold. Minnesota also led the Big Ten with six individuals on the 2021-22 Preseason All-Big Ten Hockey Teams, headlined by four players earning First Team honors. The Gophers were represented in the preseason honor roll by Jackson LaCombe (First Team), Jack LaFontaine (First Team), Ben Meyers (First Team), Sammy Walker (First Team), Brock Faber (Second Team) and Ryan Johnson (Second Team). Mike Koster also earned honorable mention honors on behalf of the Maroon & Gold.