North Star College Cup Preview

BY foxsports • January 28, 2016

The third-annual North Star College Cup will take place this weekend at the Xcel Energy Center, with four of Minnesota's top Division-I hockey programs competing for in-state bragging rights. Will the St. Cloud State Huskies or Minnesota Gophers continue their hot play? Or will WCHA foes Minnesota State and Bemidji State pull the upsets? You can catch all the action live on FOX Sports North, starting at 1 p.m. Saturday.

Game 1: Minnesota State vs. St. Cloud State, 1 p.m. Saturday, Xcel Energy Center, TV: FOX Sports North

Minnesota State: The 19th-ranked Mavericks (13-8-5, 12-3-5) lead the WCHA after a two-game home sweep over conference opponent Lake Superior State. MSU is 69-55-10 all-time against St. Cloud State, though the Huskies swept the Mavericks earlier this season. The Mavericks are 3-8 all-time at the Xcel Energy Center but have won three of their past four there.

St. Cloud State: The third-ranked Huskies (20-5-1, 12-3-1 NCHC) are second in the nation with a scoring average of 4.35 points per game. St. Cloud State is 8-1-1 in its past 10 games and leads the NCHC over North Dakota by three points. The Huskies did not play in last year's North Star Cup. They lost their opening-round game in the 2014 Cup but defeated the Mavericks in the third-place game.

The Gophers split with Minnesota State during a home-and-home series back in November.

Game 2: Minnesota vs. Bemidji State, 4 p.m. Saturday, Xcel Energy Center, TV: FOX Sports North

Minnesota: The 20th-ranked Gophers (13-10, 8-2 Big Ten) enter the weekend on a five-game winning streak and lead the Big Ten Conference with 24 points. Minnesota can complete its first six-game winning streak in two seasons by defeating the Beavers. The Gophers are 18-1-1 all-time against Bemidji State. Minnesota won the inaugural North Star Cup in 2014 with a shootout victory over Minnesota Duluth.

Bemidji State: The Beavers (10-10-5, 7-9-4 WCHA) are looking to defend their 2015 North Star Cup title, after beating then-No. 1 Minnesota State for the title. Bemidji State is unbeaten in seven of its past eight games. The team, tied for fifth in the WCHA, is seeking its first victory over Minnesota since 2009.

Third-place game: 1 p.m. Sunday, Xcel Energy Center, TV: FOX Sports North.

Championship game: 4 p.m. Sunday, Xcel Energy Center, TV: FOX Sports North.