Golden Gopher Hockey at Mariucci
The 2018-19 Division 1 college hockey season is now underway.
The University of Minnesota opened the season against last year’s national champion Minnesota-Duluth with a home and home series.
On Saturday the two programs skated to a tough 1-1 tie in Duluth.
Stub & Herb’s, a campus tradition
Minnesota came out in a flurry for new coach Bob Motzko’s first home game. At the end of the first period, the Gophers held a 3-0 lead, with sophomore Brannon McManus netting two.
The Gophers were overtaken by an unnatural desire to sit in the penalty box for period two, which gave Duluth some life. The Bulldogs would score the first two goals of the period, but Sammy Walker would follow up with a goal for Minnesota and Rem Pitlick would add a short handed tally for the Gophers. Minnesota now led 5-2.
The two teams would trade goals in the final frame, giving Minnesota a 7-4 win over their in-state rival.
The Bulldogs outshot Minnesota 46-23, mainly due to the nine penalties the Gophers took. Junior goaltender Mat Robson was solid in net for Minnesota.
It was a good atmosphere at Mariucci, with 8000+ fans in the stands for a Sunday night game.
Mariucci, with the Extra M’s cut off
As I spend some time in the Twin Cities, I decided to drive onto the University of Minnesota campus Friday to take in some Gopher hockey. It’s starting to look like hockey weather down here with some snow in the air. The Golden Knights of Clarkson were taking on the Golden Gophers of Minnesota.
It was a very even game for two periods; both Clarkson & Minnesota are good skating clubs. The game was scoreless after one period, and Minnesota led 1-0 after two, on a Scott Reedy goal.
Minnesota seemed to gain an edge in the third period, with extended play in the Clarkson zone. Minnesota would score two more in the final period on goals by Rem Pitlick and Brent Gates Jr. Clarkson broke the shutout with a goal at the 18:42 mark.
Minnesota had a 3-1 non-conference win.
Stars of the game:
#3 Reedy for the first goal.
#2 Casey Mittelstadt with two assists
#1 Rem Pitlick for a goal and a constant presence on the ice.
Eric Schierhorn had 26 saves for Minnesota, and Jake Kielly had 25 for Clarkson.
The same two teams meet again for round two Saturday night.
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.