Gophers women at Clarkson: Winner to the Frozen Four

NCAA quarterfinals

1 p.m. Saturday at Clarkson, Cheel Arena, Potsdam, N.Y.

Streaming: ESPN+ (free for this game)

Opening bell: It has been 13 years since the Gophers (27-9-2) played an NCAA quarterfinal anywhere east of Wisconsin. Coach Brad Frost welcomes the chance to roam beyond the Midwest, even though it means facing Clarkson at its home arena. The fourth-ranked Golden Knights (32-4-2) finished second to Colgate in the ECAC regular-season standings and the league tournament, propelled by an outstanding defense. They held opponents to two or fewer goals in 31 games, including 13 shutout victories. Two of Clarkson's losses came to Cornell, a team the No. 5 Gophers beat 5-1 in November.

Watch her: Frost said "the reins are off" forward Abbey Murphy in the postseason. The Gophers' leading scorer and sparkplug has been told to play freely, and given her competitive intensity, she could be a handful for the Clarkson defense. Murphy leads the nation with 33 goals, including seven game-winners, and ranks fifth in points (60). She comes into the NCAA tournament on a roll, with two goals and seven assists in the past four games.

Injuries: Gophers forward Madison Kaiser was injured in the WCHA semifinal loss to Wisconsin and will not play again this season.

Forecast: Yes, the Gophers are 1-8 against top-ranked Ohio State and No. 2 Wisconsin this season. But they are 26-1-2 against everyone else, including a 9-0-2 mark against other ranked teams. If their goaltending and defense hold up, that bodes well for their chances to reach a 16th Frozen Four.