Gophers Look to Reclaim Big 10 Hockey Title

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Big 10 hockey starts tonight as Minnesota takes the ice in their 100th season. Yeah, you read that right, ONE HUNDRED seasons. That’s a longer history on the ice than any of the American hockey teams in the NHL. Sure, the season technically kicked off last weekend, but everyone knows that college hockey doesn’t start until Minnesota is involved. This year, the Gophers look to get back on track and claim the Big 10 hockey title.

100 Years of Gopher Hockey

After a largely disappointing start to the season last year, the Gophers had found something and were getting hot at the right time. They’ll be looking to recapture that magic against conference rival Penn State. Had the season not been canceled, the Nittany Lions (what a shit name) were their next game in the Big 10 tournament. If the Gophers were able to come away with a win there, a birth into the NCAA playoffs was in reach.

2020 Big 10 Tournament Bracket

History Looms Large

With all that excitement, it’s important to remember that Penn State has bullied the Gophers at Mariucci recently. With a 12-2-1 record in their last 15 games, including a clean sweep last year, the Gophers are due for a win. A head start to the season may help them keep up with interstate and “little brother” rivals Minnesota State and UMD Bulldogs. The reigning champion Bulldogs and the rest of the NCHC don’t kick off until the Omaha bubble opens play on December 1st. The Mavericks will start playing exhibition games this weekend in Bemidji, but somehow these games won’t count towards their division record.

After the formation of the Big 10, there were only two things most people in the state could agree on: Minnesota’s success within the division and the belief that it ruined college hockey. While many still believe that the Big 10 paved the way for chaos throughout the league, Minnesota’s success has fallen off. The Gophers owned the top spot in the conference each of the first four years, but have not returned to the top of the podium since. This season presents an opportunity to do just that.

Reclaiming Greatness

Many people talk about “the good ol’ days” and how to get back to being a premier college program. If you ask me, there’s no better person to turn to for advice than the coolest person on the planet…Matthew McConaughey. Although his alma matter Texas is definitively NOT back, I think his advice still rings true.

Matthew McConaughey Life Advice

The Gopher’s on-ice appearance will be one more thing that separates this season from the last. While hockey Twitter was on fire Monday recapping the NHL reverse retro jerseys, the Gophers held a jersey drop of their own. Although the North Stars colors generated more buzz for the Wild, all of Minnesota seemed happy with both of the throwback sweaters.

Gophers Release Throwback Sweaters

In what may be the understatement of the century, PJ Fleck (AKA Daddy Fleck) and the Gophers football team have taken a step backward this year. This leaves hockey in a prime position to take back center-stage for attention at the university. With championships that took place this century and an appearance in the title game as recently as 2014, it’s shocking that focus ever changed! In all fairness to their football team, the hockey program is returning nearly 90% of their point production from last season. There aren’t many hockey comparisons to watching dropped passes, 17-yard punts, and missed chip shots, but the point is you won’t be seeing that on the ice this year.