MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Friday’s a big night for Gopher athletics.
Four Gopher teams — the men’s and women’s hockey and basketball teams are competing in prime time tournaments tonight.
The women’s hockey team kicks off at 5 p.m. Friday night at Ridder Arena.
“We’re undefeated on the year and why not go undefeated on the entire year,” said fan Luke Arnquist. “Two more games left at Ridder Arena. We couldn’t have asked for a better season.”
The Gopher women will go for a back-to-back NCAA championships and its 40th-straight win. Friday’s game is sold out.
“It’s very disappointing to me that the women aren’t even on television,” fan Mary Lu Kivel said. “I think it’s unfair to them and it doesn’t matter that they have the record that they do. It’s just not right that the women’s game isn’t shown like the men’s are.”
Across the river in St. Paul, Gopher men’s hockey is the big ticket. They face off against Colorado College in the WCHA Final Five at 7 p.m.
“I’m a season ticket holder, but I won’t be at the Xcel Energy Center because there are no tickets available,” Tim Fredbo explained over lunch at The Gopher Hole. “I’m a little nervous about Colorado College beating North Dakota last night because Colorado College has more to gain by winning. I do think the Gophers are going to win though.”
The women’s basketball team hosts the WNIT opener against Ball State at Williams Arena at 7 p.m. This is the team’s second WNIT appearance.
Men’s basketball fans will have to wait until 9 p.m. for tip-off. The team is in Dallas, Texas where they’re favored and yet are seeded as underdogs in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
“We think the Gophers are going to win,” Roy Krengel said. “They’re going to get out-coached, but they’re still going to win.”
One other team is also competing for a national title. The Gopher wrestling squad’s competing in the NCAA Wrestling Championships in Iowa.