WCHA Final Faceoff: How to watch games on FOX 9+

The University of Minnesota women’s hockey team couldn’t find itself in a better spot as it hosts the WCHA Women’s Final Faceoff this weekend at Ridder Arena. If you can’t get to campus to see the hockey in-person this weekend, you can watch all three games live on FOX 9+.

WCHA Final Faceoff schedule

  • SATURDAY: 1) Minnesota vs. 4) Minnesota-Duluth, 1 p.m., FOX 9+
  • SATURDAY: 2) Ohio State vs. 3) Wisconsin, 4 p.m., FOX 9+
  • SUNDAY: Semifinal winners play for WCHA Final Faceoff Championship at 1 p.m., FOX 9+

How to watch FOX 9+

  • Comcast: 10/807
  • DirecTV: 29
  • DISH: 29
  • Mediacom: 10/803
  • Over Air: 9.2
  • Spectrum: 10

Minnesota enters Final Faceoff ranked No. 1

The Gophers (28-7-1), under head coach Brad Frost, won the WCHA regular season title and earned the No. 1 seed for the Final Faceoff. The Gophers went 21-6-1 in league play, won nine straight games to end the regular season and are 14-4 at Ridder Arena this season.

Minnesota is currently the No. 1-ranked team in the nation, receiving 13 of 15 first-place votes in the latest USCHO national poll. The Gophers are also a motivated group, after being shockingly left out of the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 15 years last season. This week, Fox 9 Sports Director Jim Rich sat down with Frost to preview the weekend.

"I think one of the biggest motivating factors for our group was being left out of the NCAA Tournament last year. Felt like we did enough to get there, but obviously we didn’t," Frost said. "That was a serious motivating factor for our team coming in. I don’t know if we would be as good as we are right now if that didn’t happen."

Keys to Gophers success in Final Faceoff

The Gophers are led by the WCHA Player of the Year in Taylor Geise, who leads the nation in scoring with 60 points, including 28 goals. Geise is also a top-10 finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Award.

The No. 1 Gophers open the WCHA Final Faceoff with a semifinal game against No. 4-seed Minnesota Duluth at 1 p.m. Saturday at Ridder Arena. In the other semifinal, No. 2 Ohio State faces No. 3 Wisconsin at about 4 p.m.

The winners meet at 1 p.m. Sunday for the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The WCHA Final Faceoff features four of the top-10 teams in the country, with the Gophers and Buckeyes the top two teams in the nation, the Badgers at No. 4 and the Bulldogs at No. 7.

"I think it’s one of the hardest trophies to win because of the quality of teams in our league. This is going to be just as good or just like any national tournament or Frozen Four that you’re going to see," Frost said. "We’re just really hopeful that a lot of people will come and watch these players because they all deserve to be seen, every team that’s in this tournament."

The Gophers enter the weekend feeling good about their playoff chances regardless of what happens at the WCHA Final Faceoff. Minnesota hasn’t won a national championship in 2016. They got to the national title game in 2019, losing to Wisconsin. The 2020 tournament was canceled due to COVID-19, and they didn’t make last year’s postseason.

Frost said he feels this year’s team is capable of making a run to the NCAA title, but it won’t be easy.

"There’s definitely something there. There’s an aura of confidence, of expectant belief that we’re going to win. It doesn’t guarantee anything, but when I look back on all of our national championship teams, they’ve all kind had that ‘it’ factor," Frost said. "It’s really hard to define what ‘it’ is, but you know when you have ‘it.’ This team has ‘it.’ I think we’ve got a great shot. It’s certainly not a guarantee, but I know this team will give it a great run."