The Minnesota Golden Gophers host the Wisconsin Badgers this weekend at Mariucci Arena in Minneapolis. The Gophers will be celebrating their 1979 National Championship team on its 40th anniversary. Herb Brooks may be gone, but former players will be honored, and can no doubt be found wandering the rink’s concourse before games and during intermission.
The Gophers defeated North Dakota 4-3 in the title game in Detroit. They had three 70 point scorers on the team: Steve Christoff (77), Don Micheletti (72), and Neal Broten (71). Captain Bill Baker set a program record that year with 54 points from the blue line. Eight members of the 1978-79 Gopher hockey team would join Coach Herb Brooks at the 1980 Winter Olympics.
Prices at the concession stands are said to be at 1979 prices for Saturday’s game. Which makes me ask: Were they really charging $2.00 for a hotdog at the hockey end of Williams Arena back in 1979?
A program note: All University of Minnesota home games will be free to Federal employees & one guest, from now until the government shutdown ends.
The University of Minnesota Golden Gopher hockey team took on The Wisconsin Badgers this weekend in Madison. It was the 3000th game in the program’s history since 1921. The first intercollegiate hockey game was played in 1895 at the University of Minnesota, but the program gained varsity status in 1921.
Minnesota would sweep Wisconsin this past weekend. On Saturday, 15,359 fans watched Minnesota get the sweep, with a 7-1 win at the Kohl Center. Glad to see so many fans pack the Kohl to see Minnesota play #3000. It was also senior night for the Badgers.
Minnesota first played Wisconsin in 1922; Michigan in 1923; Notre Dame in 1925 and the rivalry with North Dakota started in 1930.
This just in from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus:
Minnesota Athletic Director, Mark Coyle has announced that the University has sold the rights to the Minnesota Rouser to Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing for the next 12 years to the tune of $750,000. “I’m really excited about this, and obviously I have enhanced the marching band by bringing in 3M, an iconic corporation in Minnesota. Nothing says Minnesota like the Rouser and Post-It-Notes”, Coyle stated in the press release.
Mr Coyle goes on to say, “You’ll hardly notice the difference, since the old rouser will still be a part of the new & improved version. It seems really ‘catchy’ and I think people will enjoy the addition: M-M-M-I-N-N-E-S-O-T-A!”
Mark Coyle, the new athletic director at the University of Minnesota, has been threatening it for months. I suppose that softens the blow a bit. At least it comes as no surprise that the athletic department has sold out Mariucci Arena, the home of Golden Gopher Hockey, to Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing. Better known as 3M.
Mariucci will be rechristened 3M Arena at Mariucci on October 1, when the Gophers play an exhibition game against Alberta, and the University of Minnesota will receive $11.2 million over 14 years for the sell out.
Most of the press release will cause alum to vomit, but my favorite part was: “Today’s announcement brings together three names instantly recognizable across Minnesota –Mariucci, Gopher Hockey and 3M — and that’s certainly exciting.” — Mark Coyle
Oh, I’m excited all right.
No word yet on when Pillsbury Doughboy at Williams will be announced for the venerable old Barn, where the basketball team plays. Expect that in the coming weeks.
<> at Michigan Stadium on October 1, 2011 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
In what was no doubt the most raw, and the most difficult sports related press conference I have ever watched, Jerry Kill resigned as the head coach of the Minnesota Golden Gopher football program. Coach Kill has battled epilepsy since 2005, and it was hoped that the seizures were under control, but they have returned this year. Following his doctor’s advice, Kill has retired from coaching, effective immediately.
“I don’t want to be a liability,” Kill said Wednesday. “I don’t want somebody to have to worry about if I’m going to drop on the field. I don’t want to coach from the press box. I want to coach the way I coached my whole life. I don’t have any more energy. None. I’ve left it all here in the great state of Minnesota. And I have no regrets.”
Kill has been a football coach for 32 years, with the last five at the University of Minnesota. When he arrived at Minnesota, Kill found a program mired in years of mediocrity, with the program’s best years decades in the past. In his short time at Minnesota, Kill returned the football program back to relevance, earning the B1G Coach of the Year Award in 2014.
Coach Kill will be deeply missed at the University, but I have no doubt he will be successful at whatever venture he turns to next.
With the college football season underway, and the hockey season a month off, here’s a photo of John Mariucci. Mariucci was an All-American and AAU National Champion on the ice in 1940, and he was also a National Champion on the gridiron in the same year for the Golden Gophers.
“Every day you’re playing worse than the day before, and today you’re playing like tomorrow.” — John Mariuuci from his coaching days…