WCHA Press Releases

The 2019 Opening Faceoff comes to its finale this weekend as the Border Battle between Wisconsin and Minnesota heads to Minneapolis for a two-game series at RIdder Arena
WCHA Week Six Notes: 2019 Opening Faceoff Finale
WCHA teams to compete in three league and one nonconference series

Opening Faceoff

- Opening Faceoff Concludes: After four-straight weeks of rivalry matchups, the 2019 Opening Faceoff comes to its finale this weekend as the Border Battle between Wisconsin and Minnesota heads to Minneapolis for a two-game series at RIdder Arena.

  • The No. 1/1 Badgers are set to face the No. 2/2 Golden Gophers Saturday, Nov. 2 and Sunday Nov. 3 with puck drop taking place at 2:07 p.m. CT both days.
  • The Opening Faceoff will be the first meeting between the rivals since the 2019 National Championship contest in which Wisconsin emerged victorious 2-0 to claim the program's fifth national title.

- Top-Ranked Teams: Four WCHA teams are represented in both national polls, making the league the most represented conference in the nation. No. 1 Wisconsin and No. 2 Minnesota have held their top-seeded spots since preseason, with Wisconsin earning every first place vote excepting three in the USCHO Poll (one in Week 3 and two in Week 4).

- Securing Their Spot: Ohio State moved up one rank in this week's USCHO rankings, re-taking the No. 8 spot after splitting a weekend series with Minnesota. The Buckeyes remained No. 8 in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Poll after earning the 4-3 upset over the Gophers on Friday. Back in the Top-10: Minnesota Duluth returns to the national polls after winning the Ice Breaker Tournament in Buffalo, N.Y. The Bulldogs sit at No. 10 in both the USCHO and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine rankings.

By the Numbers

- 253: Saves on the season for Ohio State's Andrea Braendli. This total gives the Buckeye netminder a 2.68 GAA and a .904 save percentage so far in 2019-20.

- 97: Meetings between the Wisconsin Badgers and the Minnesota Golden Gophers. This weekend's Opening Faceoff ushers in the 98th and 99th contests between the rivals. Minnesota currently claims the lead in the series with a 50-36-11 record.

- 56: Total saves on the weekend for St. Cloud State's Emma Polusny, having stopped 25 shots in game one and a season-high 31 shots in game two during the series against Minnesota State.

- 7: Points in eight games for Bemidji State's Haley Mack. The senior forward has tallied six goals and one assists to lead the Beavers in points so far this season.

- 3: Game-winning goals so far this season for Minnesota Duluth's Gabbie Hughes. The sophomore forward is tied for the top spot in the NCAA in the category along with one player each from Boston College and Colgate.

The Week Ahead

- League Series: Three WCHA series are slated to take place in Week 5 as 8/8 Ohio State heads to Bemidji State, St. Cloud State travels to 10/10 Minnesota Duluth and 1/1 Wisconsin visits 2/2 Minnesota in this weekend's Opening Faceoff.

  • Undefeated Wisconsin hits the road to continue its storied rivalry with Minnesota. When playing in Minneapolis, the Gophers take the slight edge, having a 25-20-6 record on home ice.

- Nonconference Contest: Minnesota State plays host to Merrimack Friday and Saturday in the lone non-conference series of the weekend. The Mavericks hit the ice coming off the heels of a road sweep of St. Cloud, whereas Merrimack fell to Minnesota Duluth last weekend in the Ice Breaker Tournament.