WCHA leader St. Cloud State is idle this week, giving Minnesota and Minnesota State-Mankato an opportunity to move closer to the Huskies in the standings.
The Gophers (3rd in conference, with 26 points) are in Wisconsin (5th, 25 points) tonight and outside at Soldier Field Sunday in a border battle series against the Badgers.
The Mavericks (5th, 25 points) are at home for two consecutive games for the first time in a month, hosting Michigan Tech.
While jockeying for position within the conference will pay dividends come WCHA tournament time, racking up wins along the way is needed to stay viable in the all-important PairWise rankings. Those rankings help determine the at-large bids for the 16-team NCAA tournament.
Heading into this weekend, Minnesota is No. 2 in the PairWise grid, St. Cloud is No. 8 and Mankato is No. 9.