Minnesota Golden Gophers men's ice hockey

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Minnesota Golden Gophers men's ice hockey
Minnesota Golden Gophers men's ice hockey athletic logo

University University of Minnesota
Conference Big Ten
Head coach Don Lucia
14th year, 344–178–59[1]
Captain(s) Kyle Rau
Arena Mariucci Arena
Capacity: 10,000
Surface: 100' x 200'
Location Minneapolis, MN
Colors Maroon and Gold


Fight song Minnesota Rouser
Mascot Goldy Gopher

NCAA Tournament Champions
1974, 1976, 1979, 2002, 2003
NCAA Tournament Frozen Four
1953, 1954, 1961, 1971, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1979, 1981, 1983, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1994, 1995, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2012, 2014
NCAA Tournament Appearances
36 total appearances; last 2015
Conference Tournament Champions
1961, 1971, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1993, 1994, 1996, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2015
Conference Regular Season Champions
1953, 1954, 1970, 1975, 1981, 1983, 1988, 1989, 1992, 1997, 2006, 2007, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Current uniform

The Minnesota Golden Gophers men's ice hockey team is the college ice hockey team at the Twin Cities campus of the University of Minnesota. They are members of the Big 10 Conference and compete in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I ice hockey. The Golden Gophers have won five NCAA national championships, in 1974, 1976, 1979, 2002 and 2003.[2] The team also shared the 1929 National Intercollegiate Athletic Association championship with Yale.[3] and captured the national Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) championship for amateur hockey in 1940.[4][5] Under current head coach Don Lucia, the Gophers have earned a spot in the NCAA tournament in eight seasons during a nine-year time span, including five number 1 seeds and three appearances in the Frozen Four. The team's main rivalries are with the University of Wisconsin and the University of North Dakota, although several other schools claim Minnesota as their archrival.

For much of the team's recent history, there has been a strong recruiting emphasis on Minnesota high school and junior hockey players, as opposed to out-of-state, Canadian, or European players. This helped high school ice hockey grow in Minnesota, particularly under Hall of Famer John Mariucci, who refused to recruit players from Canada and under whom high school ice hockey grew significantly in Minnesota over tenfold,[6] and later under coach Doug Woog, who only recruited from Minnesota.[7]


Early History 1895-1952[edit]

According to records, the first intercollegiate hockey team at the University of Minnesota was organized in 1895 by Dr. H. A. Parkyn,[8] a Toronto native who also played on the school's football team.[9] An early Minnesota team played the Winnipeg Seven at the down demolished Athletic Park in downtown Minneapolis. They lost 11-3.[8]

In 1900 George Northrup, Paul Joslyn, and A.R. Gibbons headed a committee to create an official varsity hockey club at the U. Although there was some effort to get Northrop Field flooded, it was ultimately decided to play on Como Lake in St. Paul. Although the 1903 season saw the first scheduled organized competitions for Minnesota hockey, ultimately this season would be the last organized hockey season for almost two decades. In 1910 efforts were made to revive competition and outreach to the University of Chicago and University of Wisconsin, other members of the Big Ten Conference, but these plans never materialized.

In January 1914 the Minnesota Board of Regents voted to fund a hockey team. However the University Athletic Board did not officially recognize this team as a varsity team. At this time, a number of fraternity squads existed and other intramural ice hockey competitions were taking place. Professor OS Zelner worked to organize some of this competition. There was also some interest in women’s hockey competition.[8]

In 1920-1921, a hockey team again skated representing the University of Minnesota. For 1921-1922 season the University Athletic Board of Control decided to finally give ice hockey varsity status. During this season, the team finished with a 7-3 record and was led by head coach I.D. MacDonald and captain Chester “Chet” Bros.

For the 1923-1924 season Danish Canadian Emil Iverson assumed the role as head coach. During Iverson’s first season as coach the team attained a record of 13-1-0. The team played their games at Minneapolis Arena starting in 1924-1925 season. Such players as Chuck McCabe, Joel Brown, John H. Peterson were accorded All-American honors during this era. Iverson's coaching tenure culminated in Minnesota sharing the National Intercollegiate Athletic Association hockey championship with Yale. Following the 1929-1930 season Emil Iverson accepted a position as coach of the Chicago Blackhawks

Frank Pond, a former team captain, became coach in 1930 after the departure of Emil Iverson.[10]

Doc Romnes era (1947–52)[edit]

During Romnes's second year, the NCAA sponsored the first Division I Men's hockey tournament. Minnesota did not qualify for the four team playoff during his coaching tenure.

John Mariucci era (1952–66)[edit]

In the 1952 season, John Mariucci led the Gophers to the National Championship game, with a 23-6 record, after going 13-13 the year before.

Mariucci was a driving force behind the philosophy of stacking the team with Minnesota talent. Even while other programs brought in older and bigger Canadian prospects, Mariucci thoroughly believed in growing the game in Minnesota, from the ground up. He held coaching clinics, and opened ice rinks in numerous Minnesota towns. This, combined with a sense of pride that the Gophers' roster was stacked with Minnesota talent, was monumental for Minnesota taking a real step forward in producing hockey talent.[11]

Glen Sonmor era (1966–71)[edit]

After coaching one season at Ohio State, Glen Sonmor became the head coach of the Gophers in 1966. Sonmor's Gophers started off slowly, finishing 8th, 5th, and 5th in the WCHA during Sonmor's first 3 seasons behind the bench. Things turned around for the Gophers in the 1969-70 season, as Sonmor led the team to its first WCHA Championship in 16 seasons, finishing with a 21-12-0 record. In the process, Sonmor was named the WCHA Coach of the Year.

The following season, the Gophers ended a 10-year NCAA Tournament drought, along with capturing a WCHA Tournament Championship. Sonmor led the Gophers to the NCAA Championship game, beating Harvard 6-5 in the first round. The Gophers lost to Boston University in the Championship game, by a score of 4-2.

During Sonmor's rather short tenure as Minnesota's head coach, the team saw attendance rise 60 percent. Sonmor finished his career with a 78-80-6 record, and coached 3 All Americans: Gary Gambucci (1968), Murray McLachlan (1970), and Wally Olds (1970). Sonmor left the Gophers after the 1971 season, to coach the Minnesota Fighting Saints of the World Hockey Association. Sonmor returned later to be the radio analyst for the Gophers on WCCO-AM.

Herb Brooks era (1972–79)[edit]

Brad Buetow era (1979–85)[edit]

Doug Woog era (1985–99)[edit]

Don Lucia era (1999–present)[edit]


National Championships[edit]

Year Champion Score Runner-up City Arena
1974 Minnesota 4–3 Michigan Tech Boston, MA Boston Garden
1976 Minnesota 6–4 Michigan Tech Denver, CO University of Denver Arena
1979 Minnesota 4–3 North Dakota Detroit, MI Olympia Stadium
2002 Minnesota 4–3 (OT) Maine St. Paul, MN Xcel Energy Center
2003 Minnesota 5–1 New Hampshire Buffalo, NY HSBC Arena

Runners-up in 1953, 1954, 1971, 1975, 1981, 1989, and 2014


  • 2013–14, 2014–15
  • 2015
  • Minnesota won the MacNaughton Cup thirteen times as WCHA regular season champions:
  • 1952–53, 1953–54, 1969–70, 1974–75, 1980–81, 1987–88, 1988–89, 1991–92, 1996–97, 2005–06, 2006–07, 2011–12, 2012–13
  • Minnesota won the Broadmoor Trophy once as WCHA regular season champions (1983) and six times as the WCHA Tournament champions:
  • 1983, 1993, 1994, 1996, 2003, 2004, 2007
  • North Star College Cup: Annual tournament vs. Minnesota-Duluth, Minnesota State, St. Cloud State, and Bemidji State:
  • 2014
  • 1991, 1995, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2012
  • Ice Breaker Invitational Champions (three times):
  • 2007, 2013, 2014
  • Mariucci-Bessone Coaches Trophy for series vs. Michigan State: Began 1993 (Minnesota leads series 12-5-5)
  • 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2009, 2012, 2013–14, 2014–15
  • Mariucci-Renfrew Coaches Trophy for series vs. Michigan: Began 1993 (Minnesota leads series: 10-9-1)
  • 1994, 1995, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2010, 2013–14
  • From 1959 to 1981, an annual Big Ten champion was crowned for the best record in regular season games among active Big Ten members. Minnesota was atop these standings ten times.
  • 1959–60, 1962–63, 1964–65, 1965–66, 1969–70, 1973–74, 1974–75, 1978–79, 1979–80, 1980–81

Season-by-season results[edit]

This is a partial list of the last five seasons completed by the Golden Gophers. For the full season-by-season history, see Minnesota Golden Gophers men's hockey seasons

Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties

Records as of April, 2014.[12]

Season GP W L T Finish Playoffs
2010–11 36 16 14 6 5th, WCHA Lost in WCHA First Round, 0–2 (Alaska Anchorage)
2011–12 43 28 14 1 1st, WCHA Lost in NCAA Frozen Four, 1–6 (Boston College)
2012–13 40 26 9 5 Tied 1st, WCHA Lost in NCAA First Round, 2–3 (OT) (Yale)
2013–14 41 28 7 6 1st, Big Ten Lost in NCAA Championship Game, 4–7 (Union)
2014–15 39 23 13 3 1st, Big Ten† Lost in NCAA First Round, 1–4 (Minnesota-Duluth)

†Conference Tournament Champions

Records by opponent[edit]


The Gophers have historic rivalries with some of the top Ice Hockey programs in the NCAA, including both in-state as well as out of state rivalries.

Out of state rivalries include the University of Wisconsin Badgers and the University of North Dakota Hockey Team. The Gophers' rivalry against the Badgers is part of the annual "Border Battle," in which both Universities keep a tallied score of all athletic competitions against one another.

The Gophers were engaged in one of the most notorious rivalries in college hockey history with the Boston University Terriers for over 30 years from 1963 to 1995. The rivalry came to its peak during the 1976 NCAA Championship Semi-Final when a bench-clearing brawl occurred only 70 seconds into the game, delaying it for nearly 30 minutes. The Gophers would go on to win the game 4–2 and subsequently, the Championship. Ironically, a number of players on both teams would end up playing together for the gold medal winning Miracle on Ice Team USA during the 1980 Winter Olympics, coached by Gopher Head Coach Herb Brooks. The rivalry began its decline in 1984, when the Gophers would become members of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association and the Terriers to the Hockey East Division, resulting in a steep decline in games against one another.[13]

Due to the fact the State of Minnesota has five NCAA Division I Hockey programs, the Gophers naturally share a rivalry with the remaining four: The University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs, St. Cloud State University Huskies, the Minnesota State University – Mankato Mavericks and the Bemidji State University Beavers. Four of the five programs (excluding Bemidji State) participated in the inaugural North Star College Cup tournament during the 2013–2014 Ice Hockey Season.[14]


Current roster[edit]

As of October 7, 2014.[15]

# S/P/C Player Class Pos Height Weight DoB Hometown Previous team NHL rights
2 Minnesota Skjei, BradyBrady Skjei Junior D 6' 2" (1.88 m) 197 lb (89 kg) 1994-03-26 Lakeville, Minnesota US NTDP (USHL) NYR, 28th overall 2012
5 Minnesota Reilly, MikeMike Reilly Junior D 6' 0" (1.83 m) 174 lb (79 kg) 1993-07-13 Chanhassen, Minnesota Penticton (BCHL) CBJ, 98th overall 2011
18 Sweden Bristedt, LeonLeon Bristedt Freshman F 5' 8" (1.73 m) 183 lb (83 kg) 1995-003-14 Stockholm, Sweden IK Waxholm
7 Minnesota Rau, KyleKyle Rau (C) Senior F 5' 8" (1.73 m) 173 lb (78 kg) 1992-10-24 Eden Prairie, Minnesota Sioux Falls (USHL) FLA, 91st overall 2011
9 Minnesota Reilly, RyanRyan Reilly Sophomore F 5' 7" (1.7 m) 168 lb (76 kg) 1991-10-01 Chanhassen, Minnesota Penticton (BCHL)
10 Minnesota Marshall, BenBen Marshall (A) Senior D 5' 9" (1.75 m) 179 lb (81 kg) 1992-08-30 Mahtomedi, Minnesota Omaha (USHL) DET, 201st overall 2010
11 Missouri Warning, SamSam Warning Senior F 5' 9" (1.75 m) 181 lb (82 kg) 1992-09-29 Chesterfield, Missouri Cedar Rapids (USHL)
13 Minnesota Cammarata, TaylorTaylor Cammarata Sophomore F 5' 7" (1.7 m) 154 lb (70 kg) 1995-05-13 Plymouth, Minnesota Waterloo (USHL) NYI, 76th overall 2013
15 Minnesota Michaelson, A.J.A.J. Michaelson Junior F 5' 11" (1.8 m) 200 lb (91 kg) 1994-02-08 Apple Valley, Minnesota Waterloo (USHL)
17 Minnesota Ambroz, SethSeth Ambroz (A) Senior F 6' 2" (1.88 m) 210 lb (95 kg) 1993-04-03 New Prague, Minnesota Omaha (USHL) CBJ, 128th overall 2011
19 Minnesota Lettieri, VinniVinni Lettieri Sophomore F 5' 9" (1.75 m) 170 lb (77 kg) 1995-02-06 Excelsior, Minnesota Lincoln (USHL)
20 Minnesota Brodzinski, MichaelMichael Brodzinski Sophomore D 5' 11" (1.8 m) 181 lb (82 kg) 1995-05-28 Ham Lake, Minnesota Muskegon (USHL) SJS, 141 overall 2013
21 Minnesota Reilly, ConnorConnor Reilly Sophomore (RS) F 5' 11" (1.8 m) 174 lb (79 kg) 1991-10-01 Chanhassen, Minnesota Penticton (BCHL)
22 Minnesota Boyd, TravisTravis Boyd Senior F 5' 11" (1.8 m) 190 lb (86 kg) 1993-09-14 Hopkins, Minnesota US NTDP (USHL) WAS, 177th overall 2011
24 Minnesota Fasching, HudsonHudson Fasching Sophomore F 6' 3" (1.91 m) 214 lb (97 kg) 1995-07-28 Burnsville, Minnesota US NTDP (US NTDP) BUF, 118 overall 2013
25 Minnesota Kloos, JustinJustin Kloos Sophomore F 5' 9" (1.75 m) 176 lb (80 kg) 1993-11-30 Lakeville, Minnesota Waterloo Black Hawks (USHL)
26 Minnesota Isackson, ChristianChristian Isackson Junior F 6' 2" (1.88 m) 190 lb (86 kg) 1992-01-20 Pine City, Minnesota Sioux Falls (USHL) BUF, 203rd overall 2010
28 Minnesota Bischoff, JakeJake Bischoff Sophomore D 6' 0" (1.83 m) 185 lb (84 kg) 1994-07-25 Grand Rapids, Minnesota Omaha (USHL) NYI, 185 overall 2012
31 Minnesota Coyne, RyanRyan Coyne Junior G 6' 0" (1.83 m) 198 lb (90 kg) 1993-07-24 Plymouth, Minnesota Chicago (NAHL)
32 Minnesota Wilcox, AdamAdam Wilcox Junior G 6' 0" (1.83 m) 186 lb (84 kg) 1992-11-26 South St. Paul, Minnesota Tri-City (USHL) TAM, 178th overall 2011
6 Minnesota Collins, RyanRyan Collins Freshman D 6' 5" (1.96 m) 204 lb (93 kg) Minneapolis, Minnesota US NTDP (USHL) CBJ, 47th overall 2014
3 Minnesota Glover, JackJack Glover Freshman D 6' 3" (1.91 m) 185 lb (84 kg) 1996-05-17 Golden Valley, Minnesota Chicago (NAHL) WPG, 69 overall 2014
3 Sweden Höglund, RobinRobin Höglund Freshman D 6' 3" (1.91 m) 205 lb (93 kg) Mölndal, Sweden Janesville Jets (NAHL)
4 Minnesota Johnson, SteveSteve Johnson Freshman D 6' 1" (1.85 m) 205 lb (93 kg) Excelsior, Minnesota Omaha Lancers (USHL) LOS, 120 overall 2014

Honored members[edit]

Retired Numbers: The Gophers have retired only one number. On November 15, 1998, the team retired John Mayasich's number 8. Mayasich, a two-time All-American, played four seasons with the Gophers (1951–1955) and holds team records for goals and points scored both in a game and for a career. Despite playing as a member of the silver medal 1956 and gold medal 1960 Winter Olympic U.S. hockey teams, he never played professionally.

Hobey Baker Award: Four players from the University of Minnesota have won the Hobey Baker Award, awarded annually to "the outstanding collegiate hockey player in the United States." Neal Broten (1978–1981) became the award's first recipient in 1981. Robb Stauber (1986–1989) won the award as a sophomore in 1988, becoming the first goaltender to be so honored. Brian Bonin (1992–1996) won the award in 1996 after nearly winning it the previous season. In 2002, Jordan Leopold (1998–2002) became the first University of Minnesota player to win both the Hobey Baker Award and an NCAA Championship in the same season.


In their eighty-five season history, the Gophers have had a total of fourteen head coaches, including three interim coaches. John Mariucci took a one-year leave of absence during the 1955–1956 season to serve as head coach of the U.S. men's hockey team that won the silver medal at the 1956 Winter Olympics.[16] Halfway through the 1971–1972 season, Glen Sonmor left the Gophers to become the general manager and head coach for the Minnesota Fighting Saints of the World Hockey Association.[17] Doug Woog was suspended for two games during the 1996–1997 season for concealing an illegal payment to a former player after his scholarship ended.[18] During this time, assistant head coach Mike Guentzel served as the team's head coach.[19] In 2009, Assistant Coach John Hill coached 2 games while Don Lucia was out for medical reasons.

All-time coaching records[edit]

As of completion of 2012–13 season[12]

Tenure Coach Years Record Pct.
1921–22 I. D. MacDonald 1 6–3–1 .650
1922–30 Emil Iverson 8 82–20–11 .761
1930–35 Frank Pond* 5 46–24–4 .649
1935–47 Larry Armstrong 12 125–54–10 .691
1947–52 Doc Romnes 5 53–59–0 .473
1952–55, 56–66 John Mariucci* 13 197–138–18 .584
1955–56 Marsh Ryman* (interim) 1 16–12–1 .569
1966–71 Glen Sonmor 4.5 77–80–6 .491
1971–72 Ken Yackel* (interim) 0.5 7–17–0 .250
1972–79 Herb Brooks* 7 167–97–18 .624
1979–85 Brad Buetow* 6 171–75–8 .689
1985–99 Doug Woog* 14 390–187–40 .663
1996 Mike Guentzel* (interim) 1–1–0 .500
1999–present Don Lucia 15 372–189–65 .646
Totals 14 coaches 92 seasons 1710–956–182 .632

Note: (*) indicates former Gophers player


Program records[edit]






  1. ^ "Don Lucia – Year by Year Statistics". 
  2. ^ "Official 2007 Men's and Women's Ice Hockey Records Book". NCAA.org (National Collegiate Athletic Association). 2006. Retrieved 2007-10-26. [dead link]
  3. ^ McLaughlin, Don (1929-03-16). "Minnesota Sweeps Marquette Series; Justify Title Rights". Minnesota Daily. Retrieved 2007-11-01. 
  4. ^ Quale, Otto (1940-03-05). "National AAU Title Tops Unbeaten Year". Minnesota Daily. Retrieved 2007-11-01. 
  5. ^ MacDonald, Gordon (1998). "A Colossal Embroglio: Control of Amateur Ice Hockey in the United States and the 1948 Olympic Winter Games". OLYMPIKA: The International Journal of Olympic Studies (International Centre for Olympic Studies) VII: 43–60. Retrieved 2007-06-10. 
  6. ^ "Legends of Hockey – The Legends – Honoured Builder – Mariucci, John – Biography". Retrieved 2010-11-27. 
  7. ^ Moline, Joe (2006-10-13). "The Big Scoring Question Answered...Sort of". GopherHole.com. Retrieved 2007-03-23. 
  9. ^ Football at Minnesota: The Story of Thirty Years' Contests on the Gridiron. 
  10. ^ "Year by Year Records". University of Minnesota. 
  11. ^ http://www.gophersports.com/sports/m-hockey/spec-rel/john-mariucci.html
  12. ^ a b "Minnesota Men's Hockey Team History". U.S. College Hockey Online. 1996–2014. Retrieved April 13, 2014. 
  13. ^ http://www.uscho.com/2012/03/21/brawls-interlocks-and-blowouts-the-history-of-all-time-series-between-ncaa-first-round-opponents/
  14. ^ http://www.xcelenergycenter.com/news/detail/minnesotas-five-division-i-hockey-programs-to-host-annual-tournament
  15. ^ "Men's Ice Hockey – 2013–14 Roster". University of Minnesota Athletics. Retrieved October 7, 2014. 
  16. ^ Gordon, Dick (1956-02-05). "Mariucci by Phone: ‘We Rose to Heights; Russia Too Good’". Star Tribune. Retrieved 2007-03-03. [dead link]
  17. ^ McGourty, John (2006-11-02). "Sonmor found a way to win at life". NHL. Retrieved 2007-03-03. [dead link]
  18. ^ Brown, Scott (1996-11-12). "Gopher Hockey Under Scrutiny". USCHO. Retrieved 2007-03-03. 
  19. ^ Mazzocco, Frank (1996-10-21). "Minnesota Head Coach Suspended". USCHO. Retrieved 2007-03-03. 
  20. ^ "Gopher Hockey History – The Arenas". November 9, 2006. 


External links[edit]

Media related to Minnesota Golden Gophers men's ice hockey at Wikimedia Commons