Minnesota Golden Gophers men's ice hockey

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Minnesota Golden Gophers
men's ice hockey
Minnesota Golden Gophersmen's ice hockey athletic logo
University University of Minnesota
Conference Big Ten
First season 1921
Head coach Don Lucia
19th season, 438–227–71 (.643)
Captain(s) Tyler Sheehy
Alternate captain(s) Ryan Lindgren
Mike Szmatula
Leon Bristedt
Arena Mariucci Arena
Capacity: 10,000
Surface: 200' x 100'
Location Minneapolis, Minnesota
Student section The Ice Box
Colors Maroon and Gold[1]
Fight song Minnesota Rouser
Mascot Goldy Gopher
NCAA Tournament championships
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
37 total appearances; last 2017
NAIA Tournament championships
1929 (NAIA), 1940 (AAU)
Conference Tournament championships
1961, 1971, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1993, 1994, 1996, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2015
Conference regular season championships
1953, 1954, 1970, 1975, 1981, 1983, 1988, 1989, 1992, 1997, 2006, 2007, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
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] The Gophers are currently coached by Don Lucia.[6] Under Don Lucia the Gophers 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,[7] and later under coach Doug Woog, who only recruited from Minnesota.[8]


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,[9] a Toronto native who also played on the school's football team.[10] An early Minnesota team played the Winnipeg Seven at the now demolished Athletic Park in downtown Minneapolis. They lost 11–3.[9]

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.[9]

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, answering a petition organized by Merle "Frenchy" DeForest, the president of a new booster organization for the sport, which itself grew out of enthusiasm for hockey among the interfraternal league. During this season, the team finished with a 7–3 record, led by head coach I.D. MacDonald and captain Chester “Chet” Bros. Other members of the 1921–22 team include center Paul Swanson and wingman Frank R. Pond, who were named captains for the following seasons, Swanson in 1922–23 and Pond in 1923–24. DeForest, Swanson and Pond were all members of Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity, while Bros was a member of Delta Tau Delta.[11]

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, former team captain, became coach in 1930 after the departure of Emil Iverson. The team's Rookie of the Year award is named in his honor.[12]

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.[13]

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.


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, 2015–16, 2016–17
  • 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, 2016
  • Ice Breaker Invitational Champions (three times):
  • 2007, 2013, 2014
  • Mariucci-Bessone Coaches Trophy for series vs. Michigan State: Began 1993 (Minnesota leads series 13–5–5)
  • 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2009, 2012, 2013–14, 2014–15, 2015–16
  • Mariucci-Renfrew Coaches Trophy for series vs. Michigan: Began 1993 (Minnesota leads series: 10–9–2)
  • 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.[14]

Season GP W L T Finish Playoffs
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)
2015–16 35 19 16 0 1st, Big Ten Missed Playoffs

†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 Fighting Hawks. 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.[17]

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.[18]


Current roster[edit]

As of July 27, 2017.[19]

# S/P/C Player Class Pos Height Weight DoB Hometown Previous team NHL rights
1 Minnesota Kautz, BrockBrock Kautz Junior G 6' 0" (1.83 m) 188 lb (85 kg) 1994-06-22 Rochester, Minnesota Minnesota Wilderness (NAHL)
2 Minnesota Sadek, JackJack Sadek Junior D 6' 2" (1.88 m) 200 lb (91 kg) 1997-04-19 Lakeville, Minnesota Lakeville North (USHS–MN) MIN, 204th overall 2015
3 Minnesota Glover, JackJack Glover Senior D 6' 3" (1.91 m) 200 lb (91 kg) 1996-05-17 Golden Valley, Minnesota USNTDP (USHL) WPG, 69th overall 2014
4 Minnesota Johnson, SteveSteve Johnson Senior D 6' 1" (1.85 m) 186 lb (84 kg) 1994-06-27 Excelsior, Minnesota Omaha (USHL) LAK, 120th overall 2014
5 Minnesota Lindgren, RyanRyan Lindgren (A) Sophomore D 6' 0" (1.83 m) 205 lb (93 kg) 1998-02-11 Minneapolis, Minnesota USNTDP (USHL) BOS, 49th overall 2016
7 California McManus, BrannonBrannon McManus Freshman F 5' 10" (1.78 m) 185 lb (84 kg) 1999-07-05 Newport Beach, California Chicago (USHL)
9 Michigan Szmatula, MikeMike Szmatula (A) Senior F 5' 9" (1.75 m) 187 lb (85 kg) 1992-08-10 Commerce Township, Michigan Northeastern (HEA)
10 Michigan Gates Jr., BrentBrent Gates Jr. Junior F 6' 2" (1.88 m) 187 lb (85 kg) 1997-08-12 Grand Rapids, Michigan Green Bay (USHL) ANA, 80th overall 2015
11 Minnesota Notermann, LukeLuke Notermann Sophomore F 5' 11" (1.8 m) 160 lb (73 kg) 1997-08-01 Blaine, Minnesota Blaine (USHS–MN)
12 Minnesota Marooney, JoeyJoey Marooney Sophomore F 5' 9" (1.75 m) 170 lb (77 kg) 1996-02-18 Chaska, Minnesota Green Bay (USHL)
13 Minnesota Munson, CullenCullen Munson Freshman F 5' 11" (1.8 m) 198 lb (90 kg) 1996-04-04 Edina, Minnesota Janesville (NAHL)
15 Minnesota Pitlick, RemRem Pitlick Sophomore F 5' 11" (1.8 m) 202 lb (92 kg) 1997-04-02 Plymouth, Minnesota Muskegon (USHL) NSH, 76th overall 2016
16 Minnesota Ramsey, JackJack Ramsey Junior F 6' 3" (1.91 m) 201 lb (91 kg) 1995-11-02 Chanhassen, Minnesota Penticton (BCHL) CHI, 208th overall 2014
17 Wisconsin Novak, TommyTommy Novak Junior F 6' 1" (1.85 m) 192 lb (87 kg) 1997-04-28 River Falls, Wisconsin Waterloo (USHL) NSH, 85th overall 2015
18 Sweden Bristedt, LeonLeon Bristedt (A) Senior F 5' 8" (1.73 m) 187 lb (85 kg) 1995-03-14 Stockholm, Sweden Linköpings J20 (J20 SuperElit)
19 Minnesota Reedy, ScottScott Reedy Freshman F 6' 2" (1.88 m) 199 lb (90 kg) 1999-04-04 Prior Lake, Minnesota USNTDP (USHL) SJS, 102nd overall 2017
20 Minnesota Zuhlsdorf, RyanRyan Zuhlsdorf Sophomore D 6' 0" (1.83 m) 192 lb (87 kg) 1997-07-01 Edina, Minnesota Dubuque (USHL) TBL, 150th overall 2015
21 Minnesota Mittelstadt, CaseyCasey Mittelstadt Freshman F 6' 0" (1.83 m) 201 lb (91 kg) 1998-11-22 Eden Prairie, Minnesota Eden Prairie (USHS–MN) BUF, 8th overall 2017
22 Minnesota Sheehy, TylerTyler Sheehy (C) Junior F 5' 10" (1.78 m) 185 lb (84 kg) 1995-11-20 Burnsville, Minnesota Youngstown (USHL)
23 Minnesota Norman, RyanRyan Norman Junior F 5' 10" (1.78 m) 185 lb (84 kg) 1996-10-25 Maplewood, Minnesota Shattuck-St. Mary's (Midget AAA)
24 Minnesota Knoepke, NateNate Knoepke Freshman D 6' 3" (1.91 m) 196 lb (89 kg) 1999-04-08 Farmington, Minnesota USNTDP (USHL)
25 Minnesota Hurley, ConnorConnor Hurley Senior F 6' 2" (1.88 m) 181 lb (82 kg) 1995-09-15 Edina, Minnesota Notre Dame (HEA) BUF, 38th overall 2013
26 Minnesota Romanko, DarianDarian Romanko Junior F 6' 1" (1.85 m) 202 lb (92 kg) 1994-11-09 Shoreview, Minnesota Minnesota Wilderness (NAHL)
28 Minnesota Rossini, SamSam Rossini Freshman D 6' 3" (1.91 m) 195 lb (88 kg) 1998-06-19 Burnsville, Minnesota Penticton (BCHL)
29 Minnesota Nanne, TylerTyler Nanne Sophomore D 5' 11" (1.8 m) 183 lb (83 kg) 1996-03-17 Edina, Minnesota Ohio State (Big Ten) NYR, 142nd overall 2014
34 Minnesota Lehr, NickNick Lehr Senior G 5' 11" (1.8 m) 188 lb (85 kg) 1993-03-07 Roseville, Minnesota Austin (NAHL)
37 Alaska Schierhorn, EricEric Schierhorn Junior G 6' 0" (1.83 m) 193 lb (88 kg) 1996-02-09 Anchorage, Alaska Muskegon (USHL)
40 Ontario Robson, MatMat Robson Sophomore G 6' 2" (1.88 m) 176 lb (80 kg) 1996-03-26 Mississauga, Ontario Penticton (BCHL)

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.

Golden Gophers players drafted in the first round of the NHL entry draft:

Erik Johnson, Phil Kessel, Thomas Vanek, Blake Wheeler, Kyle Okposo, Erik Rasmussen, Douglas Zmolek, Keith Ballard, Michael Ramsey, Tom P. Chorske, Nick Leddy, Nick Bjugstad, David Fischer, Jordan Schroeder, Kris Chucko, Patrick White, Brady Skjei, James O'Brien, Jeff Taffe.


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.[20] 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.[21] 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.[22] During this time, assistant head coach Mike Guentzel served as the team's head coach.[23] 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 2014–15 season[14]

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 16 395–202–68 .645
Totals 14 coaches 93 seasons 1733–969–185 .632

Note: (*) indicates former Gophers player


Program records[edit]






  1. ^ "Colors and Type | University Relations | University of Minnesota, Twin Cities". Retrieved December 28, 2016. 
  2. ^ "Official 2007 Men's and Women's Ice Hockey Records Book" (PDF). 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" (PDF). Minnesota Daily. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-05-16. Retrieved 2007-11-01. 
  4. ^ Quale, Otto (1940-03-05). "National AAU Title Tops Unbeaten Year" (PDF). Minnesota Daily. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-05-16. 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" (PDF). OLYMPIKA: The International Journal of Olympic Studies. International Centre for Olympic Studies. VII: 43–60. Retrieved 2007-06-10. 
  6. ^ "Minnesota Men's Hockey Team". Retrieved 2017-04-19. 
  7. ^ "Legends of Hockey – The Legends – Honoured Builder – Mariucci, John – Biography". Retrieved 2010-11-27. 
  8. ^ Moline, Joe (2006-10-13). "The Big Scoring Question Answered...Sort of". GopherHole.com. Archived from the original on 2007-10-08. Retrieved 2007-03-23. 
  10. ^ Football at Minnesota: The Story of Thirty Years' Contests on the Gridiron. 
  11. ^ According to the Minnesota Gopher Yearbook of 1922, p.344ff
  12. ^ "Year by Year Records". University of Minnesota. 
  13. ^ "University of Minnesota Official Athletic Site – Ice Hockey". gophersports.com. 
  14. ^ a b "Minnesota Men's Hockey Team History". U.S. College Hockey Online. 1996–2014. Retrieved April 13, 2014. 
  15. ^ http://www.mgoblue.com/sports/m-hockey/spec-rel/042809aaa.html
  16. ^ http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/msu/sports/m-hockey/auto_pdf/2015-16/misc_non_event/media-guide-record-book.pdf
  17. ^ "Brawls, interlocks and blowouts: The history of all-time series between NCAA first-round opponents". USCHO.com. 
  18. ^ Xcel Energy Center. "Xcel Energy Center :: Gophers Host New College Hockey Tournament". xcelenergycenter.com. 
  19. ^ "Men's Ice Hockey – 2017–18 Roster". University of Minnesota Athletics. Retrieved July 27, 2017. 
  20. ^ Gordon, Dick (1956-02-05). "Mariucci by Phone: ‘We Rose to Heights; Russia Too Good’". Star Tribune. Archived from the original on June 28, 2006. Retrieved 2007-03-03. 
  21. ^ McGourty, John (2006-11-02). "Sonmor found a way to win at life". NHL. Retrieved 2007-03-03. [dead link]
  22. ^ Brown, Scott (1996-11-12). "Gopher Hockey Under Scrutiny". USCHO. Retrieved 2007-03-03. [permanent dead link]
  23. ^ Mazzocco, Frank (1996-10-21). "Minnesota Head Coach Suspended". USCHO. Archived from the original on 2017-06-12. Retrieved 2017-05-24. 
  24. ^ "Gopher Hockey History – The Arenas". November 9, 2006. 


External links[edit]

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