MINNEAPOLIS — The University of Minnesota (U of M) women's hockey team will take on the state's top women's professional hockey team and a Canadian university in two exhibition games this month, the school announced Tuesday.
The Golden Gophers will play the University of Manitoba on Saturday, Sept. 24 at 2 p.m., and follow with a game against the Minnesota Whitecaps, which play in the Premier Hockey Federation and recently moved into the Richfield Ice Arena, at 6 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 30 at Ridder Arena. Admission to both games is free.
The Gophers and Minnesota's top professional women's hockey team have plenty of history and ties to each other. Their exhibition game will be the first one since the Whitecaps last played the U of M on Sept. 22, 2019. The Gophers whipped the then-defending Isobel Cup champions 5-1.
The Whitecaps and Gophers were set to play last year, but the game was canceled and not rescheduled due to COVID-19 protocols within the Whitecaps. Currently, there are five Minnesota alumnae on the Whitecaps' roster, which still has eight open roster spots. Former Gophers listed on the Whitecaps' roster include; Amanda Leveille, Olivia Knowles, Patti Marshall, Stephanie Anderson and Sydney Baldwin.
The University of Minnesota last played against Manitoba in an exhibition game during the 2010-2011 season, according to the university.
The Gophers' WCHA regular season starts Oct. 7 when they host Bemidji State at Ridder Arena. The Whitecaps' regular-season schedule, which is expected to begin in November, has yet to be released but the team recently announced season tickets are now on sale.
Last season, the Gophers women's hockey team ended the season with a 29-9-1 overall record and a 26-6-1 record in conference play.
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Correction: A previous version of this article stated there were eight University of Minnesota alumnae on the Whitecaps' roster. According to the team, there are five this season. This article has been updated.