Holy S**t, The Gopher Hockey Team Won Something!
It may not be National Championship or Big Ten Championship worthy, but the Gopher men's hockey team actually won something. That seems like a rarity these days! They took home the notorious Mariucci Classic, of course hosted at 3M Arena at Mariucci.
The Mariucci Classic is a four-team tournament that is played on almost a yearly basis. The last classic was played in 2016 in which the Gophers took second. And in the prior two years, Minnesota took an embarrassing third place on home ice. They hadn't won the Mariucci Classic since 2012, which is plain ridiculous. You're the biggest hockey school in the state, and you can't win a tournament named after your arena on home ice? C'mon man!
At least they won it this year!
In a season that has been filled with disappointment and constant losing in a mediocre Big Ten conference, Minnesota gave us hockey fans a little spark of hope after beating Bemidji State and Saint Cloud State this past weekend. As poor as unranked BSU and SCSU have been this season, I did not think the Gophers stood a chance against some of the other Minnesota foes from, what I think, are far better conferences. But I was proven wrong!
They not only beat two Minnesota schools, they dominated their way to victory, winning both games by a combined score 9-3. Maybe Minnesota is on the up and up again......LOL probably not. Like I said, the Beavers and Huskies are both having below average seasons, but at least the Gophers showed they are still one of Minnesota's top hockey teams compared to the rest.
When playing top talent this year like North Dakota and Minnesota-Duluth, the Gophers got killed making me think the Big Ten is dumbing this team down to a point where they cannot even compete with other schools in their home state, which I still think is true, but they played surprisingly well against the Beavers and Huskies. However, this team still has an ugly record: 7-9-4 overall and 2-4-4-3 in Big Ten play. That means they only had five wins on the season heading into the "Ucci" Classic. Gross!
This team needs to shape up! And hopefully winning this "exciting" classic will give them the momentum they need to string together some wins!