Gophers men’s hockey vs. Yale (NCAA West Regional, Game 1)

Drew Claussen

Gophers vs. Yale
1 p.m. 
Van Andel Arena (Grand Rapids, Mich.)
TV: ESPNU, Radio: ESPN 1500 AM

Minnesota lines 
Kyle Rau – Nick Bjugstad – Nate Condon
Sam Warning – Erik Haula – Zach Budish 
Tom Serratore – Travis Boyd – Seth Ambroz
Empty – Christian Isackson – Justin Holl 

Seth Helheson – Ben Marshall
Mike Reilly – Mark Alt
Brady Skjei – Nate Schmidt 

Adam Wilcox 
Michael Shibrowski 

Extra Skater – Jake Parenteau 

Yale lines 
Charles Orzetti – Clinton Bourbonais – Antoine Laganiere
Kenny Agostino – Jesse Root – Andrew Miller
Josh Balch – Stu Wilson – Anthony Day
Trent Ruffolo – Carson Cooper – Matt Killian

Gus Young – Rob O'Gara
Tommy Fallen – Ryan Obuchowski
Colin Dueck – Mitch Witek 

Nick Maricic
Jeff Malcom 
Connor Wilson


Should the Gophers beat Yale today they will player the winner of the North Dakota/Niagara game that is happening later this afternoon at 4:30 p.m. Face off for the West Regional final is set for 3 p.m. on Saturday. 

Yale is a very unfamiliar opponent for the Gophers, the last time the two played was in 2002. In a way facing the Bulldogs should be like looking in a mirror for Minnesota, both like to play a fast-paced game. The Gophers hold a 13-6-0 overall record against Yale. 

Don Lucia made some adjustments to the lineup to hopefully utilize the speed he has available. Moving Nate Condon, the Gophers' fastest skater, to the top line with Nick Bjugstad and Kyle Rau could overwhelm the Bulldogs' top line. Minnesota has rolled with 11 forwards and seven defensemen before this season with mostly positive results. 

Having Sam Warning back at 100 percent should help the Gophers this weekend. After sitting out the first round of the WCHA playoffs with an injury, Warning returned to action last Friday against Colorado College, but he didn't look to be completely healthy. 

Yale's most potent line will be its second unit today with 37-point scorer Kenny Agostino and 35-point scorer Andrew Miller flanking Jesse Root. 

It'll be interesting to see how Minnesota responds from getting shut out for the second time this season last weekend at the Xcel Energy Center. The Gophers won 5-1 after getting shutout by Denver earlier this season. Minnesota has not lost consecutive games since it got swept at Denver last February of last season.  

Read my preview for this weekend from Thursday's Daily here.

Other WCHA teams in the NCAA

Minnesota State-Mankato vs. Miami (Oh.) – Saturday, 4 p.m. 
St. Cloud State vs. Notre Dame – Saturday, 12:30 p.m. 
Wisconsin vs. Mass-Lowell – Friday, 3:30 p.m. 
Denver vs. New Hampshire – Friday, 7 p.m.
North Dakota vs. Niagara – Friday 4:30 p.m.