Mankato West vs.

Mankato East

7 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 3

These Mankato rivals will face off in the first of two regular-season matchups on Thursday — and the winner will earn more than just bragging rights.

Mankato West and Mankato East currently sit near the top of the pack in the Big 9 Conference behind Northfield and Faribault.

West (8-2-3, 4-2-1) is looking to inch closer to the top of the Big 9 standings, where its two points behind its intracity rival and 12 behind conference-leading Faribault. The Scarlets' Lindsey Hays (17-17-34) has been an offensive leader, scoring more than four goals per game.

East (10-3-2, 6-3-0) holds third place in the conference rivalry. A big part of the Cougars' offense this season has been Madison Davis, a senior who has scored 19 points in 15 games.