Tiny Union College skated off with the biggest trophy in college hockey. And the Dutchmen did it at the expense of two of the sport’s giants, toppling Minnesota for its first NCAA title after beating Boston College in the semifinals.
It was just three seasons ago when Union beat Minnesota — in overtime, in Minneapolis — for a win that pretty much put its program on the map. Back then, Union had yet to even appear in an NCAA tournament. Now, it’s one victory away from the national championship.
The North Dakota-Minnesota hockey series was a significant casualty of the football-driven conference realignment that interrupted so many classic rivalries across the country. As if prearranged to mollify fans frustrated by the first regular season in 67 years without this border-state matchup, the rivalry will be revived at the Frozen Four in Philadelphia. Those close to the clash felt like it was supposed to happen.
When DeAndre Mathieu got hurt, Maverick Ahanmisi got his chance he’d been waiting his entire college career for. In what could have been the senior’s last college game, he scored a career-high 21 points in the Gophers’ opening-round win over High Point University.
Gopher forward Joey King say there’s nothing like a Gopher-Wisconsin game. “Just the opportunity to play Wisconsin, it’s something that people from Minnesota really look forward to,” King said. The win the first time may have changed the Gopher’s season. It also changed the way teams see Mo Walker, a key down the stretch, according to Coach Richard Pitino.
DeAndre Mathieu had 10 of his 16 points in the second half, helping Minnesota overtake Indiana for a 66-60 victory on Saturday night to end a three-game losing streak. Maurice Walker pitched in 14 points and eight rebounds, and Andre Hollins added 10 points for the Gophers (16-8, 5-6 Big Ten), who lost to Nebraska, Northwestern and Purdue over the last two weeks by a total of eight points. This time, they came through in the closing minutes.
TCF Bank Stadium will hold an outdoor doubleheader Friday afternoon at the Hockey City Classic, featuring the Minnesota Gophers men’s and women’s hockey teams. The men’s team took to the ice late Thursday afternoon in preparation for Friday’s game. It was also a chance to see the ice at nightfall, checking out the sight lines under the lights. Coach Dan Lucia says there will be one other element in play that’s a bit more distracting than the waning sunlight.
Leslie Frazier has his bags packed for a new job…..Find out where by CLICKING THE LINK and listening back….
Minnesota looks to reach nine wins for the first time since 2003 and end a five-game bowl losing streak when the Gophers face Syracuse in the Texas Bowl on Friday. It’s their second straight trip to this bowl after they lost to Texas Tech 34-31 last year after a late rally by the Red Raiders.
Minnesota senior Austin Hollins has been named the Big Ten Player of the Week for men’s basketball. The award was announced by the conference on Monday. Hollins crossed the 1,000-point mark for his career last week in leading the Gophers to a 75-59 victory over South Dakota State. He posted his third double-double, with 20 points and 14 rebounds in 30 minutes. The small forward is averaging 13.8 points and 7.4 rebounds over 11 games. He’s seventh in the Big Ten in rebounds.
Minnesota coach Jerry Kill is sticking with what works. Kill says he will remain in the coaching booth for the Golden Gophers’ game against No. 16 Wisconsin on Saturday.
David Cobb carried 27 times for 139 yards and a touchdown, and Minnesota held Penn State scoreless over the final 33-plus minutes to grind out a 24-10 victory on Saturday, the fourth in a row for the Golden Gophers.
Minnesota coach Jerry Kill is working his way back into the job after taking a leave of absence to better manage his epilepsy. He’s not ready to return to the sideline. But he said confidently that he’ll soon be seizure-free.
Philip Nelson rushed for two touchdowns and passed for another, guiding Minnesota to a 34-23 upset Saturday of 25th-ranked Nebraska, the first win by the Gophers since 1960 against the Cornhuskers.
He played for the Gophers and the Giants….now his son plays for the Gophers..Brian Williams with Dave!