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U of M warns students against a repeat of post-hockey rowdiness

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As the University of Minnesota men's hockey team prepares to play for the national championship Saturday, the university's president is warning of "zero tolerance" for the celebratory rowdiness that led to 10 arrests after Thursday night's semi-final win.

The Minnesota Daily reports students swarmed through Minneapolis' Dinkytown neighborhood for three hours after the buzzer-beating semifinal win over North Dakota at college hockey's Frozen Four.

University police in riot gear used pepper spray, tear gas, and mace to disperse the crowds, the Daily says. In an email to students on Friday U of M President Eric Kaler wrote that the actions of a few people had marred the hockey team's victory and must not be repeated.

MPR News notes that Kaler's email also reminds students that even bystanders watching a riot are violating the Student Conduct Code. Kaler urges students to steer clear of any signs of violence on campus after the Gophers play Union College in Saturday night's national championship game in Philadelphia.

The Minnesota Daily reported that hundreds of fired-up fans flooded Dinkytown late Thursday.

WCCO reported the intersection of 4th Street and 14th Avenue was the epicenter of the activity, which broke out around 11 p.m.

KSTP reported that more than 100 officers in riot gear (more photos below) were on the scene as people jumped on squad cars, climbed light posts and threw bottles at police. The station noted that officers from around the metro were called in to help restore calm.

Some in the crowd set off fireworks, KSTP reports. The student newspaper reports tear gas and mace were used by police; KSTP reports it was pepper spray and that police fired bean bags; and the Star Tribune and KARE 11 report police used paint pellets.

The Star Tribune reported that a State Patrol helicopter was called in to illuminate the scene. The newspaper has a slideshow of the tumult.

A video posted to YouTube shows a glimpse at the scene:

Streets were mostly calm by 1 a.m., though sporadic confrontations continued in the neighborhood around Dinkytown’s business district.

University President Eric Kaler and Vice Provost Danita Brown Young sent an email to students Thursday morning, reminding them to celebrate the NCAA hockey championship responsibly.

“We want to send a clear message: There will be zero tolerance for disruptive behavior or property damage,” the statement read.

The final game for the Gopher men's hockey team is scheduled for Saturday night.

Images posted by Andrew Constansto the photo-sharing site Imgur (warning: contains profanity):

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Police prepare for potential hockey riots at U of M

Rioters overturned cars, started fires and looted stores in Dinkytown after the Gophers won the NCAA hockey tournament in 2002 and 2003. With the team possibly headed to the championship round on Saturday, campus and city police are putting together a "fairly significant police deployment plan," which includes plenty of officers as well as surveillance cameras.