Gophers look to take care of business as they (almost) always do against Huskies

Minnesota women’s hockey coach Laura Halldorson has vivid memories from the last time her team lost to St. Cloud State.

Of course, that might be because it was the only time her team lost to St. Cloud State.

Since the Gophers’ 1997-98 inaugural season, the team has compiled a 24-1-0 record against the Huskies. The lone loss was a 7-6 defeat in St. Cloud, Minn., on Feb. 10, 2001.

Top-ranked Minnesota (23-1-2, 18-0-2 WCHA) will look to keep that success going as it heads up Interstate 94 for the series Friday and Saturday at 7:05 p.m. at the National Hockey Center.

Most of the Gophers’ victories over the Huskies (7-15-4, 5-12-3) have not even been close, with 18 of the 24 wins coming by three goals or more.

Still, Minnesota knows that its past succeses mean little when it comes to future ones, and Halldorson said the team must focus on the present.

“We know they’re dangerous,” Halldorson said. “We can’t take them lightly. We’ve got to be geared up and ready to go because if we don’t play well, we will have trouble against them.”

St. Cloud State certainly gave last weekend’s opponent, Ohio State, trouble.

The Huskies took three of four points in the series, knocking the Buckeyes out of the nation’s top 10.

Junior defender Lyndsay Wall said the team has been very good at not underestimating its opponent – no matter how much it might be struggling.

“Anytime we go into a game, we never go in cocky or anything like that,” she said. “We always take it as (though we’re) playing Duluth or something.”

It will be crucial for the Gophers not to overlook the Huskies because of the Bulldogs.

Minnesota and Minnesota-Duluth are still tied for the top spot in the conference with 38 points each, though Minnesota-Duluth has played two more conference games than Minnesota.

However, the Gophers are not focused on the postseason race yet.

For now, Minnesota is just worried about keeping the 2001 loss to St. Cloud State lonely.

Troumbly in, Sutton out

Minnesota trainer Amy Hamilton said Wednesday that forward Stacy Troumbly (knee) will play this weekend but forward Noelle Sutton (hand) will probably be held out of action.

Both missed last weekend.