WCHA Press Releases

The highlight of the first full weekend of WCHA play in the new year is the inaugural Minnesota Cup tournament, Powered by GELSTX, at Ridder Arena
WCHA Week 14: Minnesota Cup Highlights Opening Weekend Of 2019
Gophers, Bulldogs, Mavericks and Huskies will meet in Minneapolis on Saturday and Sunday; Bemidji State hosts non-conference series while Ohio State tunes up for the second half with an NWHL exhibition

Opening Faceoff

Topping the Polls: The WCHA enters the second half of the season with three teams in the top-eight of both the USCHO.com and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls - No. 1 Wisconsin, No. 2 Minnesota, and No. 8 Ohio State.

  • Those same three teams begin 2019 among the top-eight in the PairWise Rankings. The Badgers are No. 1, the Gophers are No. 3 and the Buckeyes are No. 7.

Minnesota Cup, Powered by GELSTX, Kicks Off Saturday: The highlight of the first full weekend of WCHA play in the new year is the inaugural Minnesota Cup tournament, Powered by GELSTX.

  • The two-day, four-team event will be held Jan. 5-6 at the University of Minnesota's Ridder Arena and features Minnesota Duluth, Minnesota State, St. Cloud State and the host Golden Gophers.

Second Half Gets Underway: In addition to the Minnesota Cup, this weekend's action also includes a non-conference series, with Bemidji State hosting Union (N.Y.), and an exhibition double-dip as Ohio State hosts the Minnesota Whitecaps of the NWHL in Columbus.

Winning Hockey: Fifteen (15) NCAA Division I programs have winning percentages of .500 or better, with four of those hailing from the WCHA.

  • Wisconsin leads the country with 19 victories and tops D-I with a .944 winning percentage (19-1-0). Minnesota is second at .875 (17-2-1), Ohio State is eighth (.700, 14-6-0) and Minnesota State is 14th (.528, 8-7-3).
  • The Badgers (11-straight wins) and Gophers (10-straight victories) have the nation's longest active winning streaks, and the second- and third-longest unbeaten runs, respectively (Princeton is 9-0-3 in its last 12 games).
  • The Mavericks entered the holiday break with a winning record for the first time since the 2005-06 season.

December Players of the Month: Wisconsin's Annie Pankowski (Forward), Minnesota State's Anna Wilgren (Defenseman) and Abigail Levy (Goaltender) and Minnesota forward Amy Potomak (Rookie) are the WCHA December Players of the Month, Powered by GoodWood Hockey .


BY THE NUMBERS

36: NCAA-best non-conference wins for the WCHA this season, which also has the country's best out-of-conference winning percentage at .740 (36-12-2).

17: Points by Ohio State defenseman Jincy Dunne, which leads all WCHA blueliners heading into the second half.

11: Number of Minnesota skaters who have scored four goals in a game this season. Twenty-one different players have posted at least one point for the Golden Gophers in 2018-19.

4: Points separate the top-three teams in the WCHA standings entering the season's second half. The league's regular season champion earns an automatic spot in the 2019 WCHA Final Faceoff.

1: St. Cloud State ranks No. 1 nationally in team saves this season with 853.


THE WEEK AHEAD

Minnesota Cup: Minnesota, Minnesota Duluth, Minnesota State and St. Cloud State will face off in the inaugural Minnesota Cup, Powered by GELSTX, Jan. 5-6 at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis.

  • Saturday's schedule will see Minnesota State tangle with St. Cloud State at 1:07 p.m. CT, followed by the Bulldogs and Gophers at 4:07 p.m.
  • Sunday's games will also take place at 1:07 and 4:07 p.m. CT with Minnesota Duluth facing either the Mavericks or Huskies in the opener and the Gophers playing in the nightcap.

Bemidji State Hosts Union in Non-Conference Action: Bemidji State will open the second half of its season with a non-conference series against Union, Friday and Saturday at the Sanford Center in Bemidji.

  • The series between the Beavers and the Dutchwomen will be the first meeting between the two programs.
  • In its final series before the holiday break, Bemidji State split a pair of road meetings with Mercyhurst, dropping a 3-0 decision on Dec. 7 before rebounding with a 3-1 win the following day.

Ohio State Meets the Minnesota Whitecaps in an Exhibition Series: The Ohio State Buckeyes return to action this weekend, hosting a two-game exhibition set with the NWHL's Minnesota Whitecaps on Saturday and Sunday at the OSU Ice Rink.

  • Sophomore Emma Maltais begins the second half of the season with a WCHA-leading 28 points and 1.40 ppg average. The Burlington, Ont., native also shares the league lead in assists (19) and assists per game (0.95).