It's Gopher Day in Mankato, the first time Minnesota has been here since last March's epic playoff series. PucKato thought that would be a good time to take a look at Mavericks junior forward Trevor Bruess, who scored a big goal that weekend, although he'd rather focus on the here and now. The story is not on our Web site, so be sure to grab a copy at your local newsstand or go to our e-edition.
Bruess is also a prospective NHL free agent who opted to return to MSU this season. He said he's not talking about his future right now: "I'm worried about this team (Minnesota State) and how we do. I'm on this team right now. ... I don't want any other distractions. I want to be dedicated to this team.
As for the Gophers, goaltender Alex Kangas has fond memories of last year's playoff series. Sophomore Mike Hoeffel has started to emerge. Minnesota coach Don Lucia, who missed four games earlier this season with an illness finally has a diagnosis: It's called sarcoidosis, and he did a Q&A with the Pioneer Press about it.
Looking around the rest of the WCHA, North Dakota is the league's hottest team but it's Pairwise ranking is still not high enough. The Sioux travel to St. Cloud State, which is getting great production from its freshman class.
In Madison, Wisconsin hosts Minnesota Duluth, which sits just three points behind the Badgers in a tight WCHA race. Badgers sophomore forward Patrick Johnson is trying to get his groove back. Like St. Cloud, Duluth is getting good production from its rookies, something Minnesota State found out last weekend.
In Denver, the Pioneers will be without their coach, George Gwozdecky, who has been suspended for tonight's game they host Alaska-Anchorage, which has been struggling on special teams.
Here are WCHA previews and notebooks from INCH, USCHO and This is the WCHA.
Be sure to check back throughout the day for more posts, including a new poll and in-game updates.