Friday, November 25, 2011

Big Ten Hockey Game of the Week: Minnesota at Michigan State

By Jessi Pierce

Soon-to-be Big Ten opponents, the University of Minnesota heads to East Lansing this weekend for a series match-up in Michigan State's territory for the first time since 1980 in a battle of the Mariuci-Bessone Trophy. The Spartans nabbed the trophy for the first time in 10 years with a 5-2 win over the Gophers last year in Minneapolis.

The now defunct College Hockey Showcase ensured that the Gophers and Spartans squared off at least once a season since 1993-94 after Michigan State left the Western Collegiate Hockey Conference in 1981 for their current Central Collegiate Hockey Association home. The No.2/3 Gophers head to Munn Arena with a 101-42-12 all-time record against the Spartans but with splits for Minnesota the last two weekends to unranked teams (Wisconsin and St.Cloud State) on the road Friday nights, it's anyone's game.

Two hockey rich programs (and from states dubbed "Hockeytown" and "The State of Hockey" nonetheless) who haven't been to the NCAA tournament in four years will look to give an awesome series great to watch after a plate full of turkey and pie.

More information on the series and its former rivalry: Re-igniting the rivalry