Gophers

Top-Seeded Minnesota Prepares For WCHA Playoffs

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — WCHA regular season champion Minnesota is getting ready for the league playoffs as the top seed for the first time in five years.

The Gophers will take the McNaughton Cup into their best-of-three first-round series against Alaska Anchorage next weekend. The Seawolves swept them in Minnesota last season, sealing a third straight year missing the NCAA tournament.

Second-place Minnesota Duluth will host Minnesota State, Mankato. Denver will host Wisconsin. North Dakota will host Bemidji State. Colorado College will host Michigan Tech, and St. Cloud State will host Nebraska-Omaha.

The six winners will advance to the WCHA Final Five, held March 15-17 at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. All of the first-round matchups will take place Friday and Saturday and, if a third game is necessary, on Sunday.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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