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Gophers women seeks another sweep against St. Thomas

GOPHERS WOMEN'S HOCKEY SERIES PREVIEW

Friday (6 p.m.) and Saturday (4:30 p.m.) at Ridder Arena

TV: none Friday, FOX9-Plus on Saturday; Stream: B1G+ on Friday

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Randy Johnson's preview:

Opening bell: The Gophers (20-5-1, 14-5-1 WCHA) enter the final four weeks of the regular season in third place in the WCHA, 11 points behind first-place Ohio State and five behind second-place Wisconsin. Minnesota swept Minnesota State Mankato 4-3 and 2-1 in overtime last weekend, running its win streak to four games. The Gophers are fifth in the PairWise Ratings, which help determine the NCAA tournament field. The top four teams in the PairWise serve as NCAA regional hosts.

Watch her: Gophers junior forward Abbey Murphy continued her outstanding season against Minnesota State, scoring the winner in the opener and finishing the weekend with two goals and two assists. She's tied for the national lead with 24 goals.

Pregame reading: Peyton Hemp's OT goal lifted Gophers over Minnesota State Mankato last Saturday.

Forecast: The Gophers overwhelmed St. Thomas in an 8-0 and 4-0 sweep in October, and another sweep appears likely. To have a chance, the Tommies (8-18-1, 2-17-1) must slow Murphy, who had four goals and two assists in the first series.

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