Skip to main content

Top-ranked Mavericks gearing up for hungry Gophers

  • Author:
  • Updated:

The second annual North Star College Cup will pit four Minnesota colleges against each other in a tournament for in-state bragging rights.

The action begins Friday at 4 p.m. as the seventh-ranked Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs play the Bemidji State Beavers. Friday's nightcap will feature the No. 1 team in the nation, Minnesota State-Mankato, against the 17th-ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers. The winners will square off Saturday in the title game.

For the Gophers, seeing the Mavericks as the No. 1 team in the country for a second week in a row is disturbing, considering Minnesota's usual place at the top or near the top the polls. But after starting the seasons in the top spot and holding it through a 7-1-0 start through mid-November, Don Lucia's club has struggled, going 4-6-2 in it's last 12 games.

Minnesota State, meanwhile, is pummeling teams and after last week's impressive road sweep over Ferris State, they've gone 13-1-1 in their last 15 games. But head coach Mike Hastings knows the Gophers are dangerous.

"They're good," Hastings told the Mankato Free Press. "They play a fast game. They probably have the best blue line that we'll run into, and they've got depth up front. ... They have guys who have been around the block and who have been in big-time situations."

Being No. 1 is very new for the Mavericks. With the exception of the last two weeks, the school had never been ranked No. 1, in any poll, in 19 years of Division 1 hockey history.

"It's nice to be the hunted," senior forward Matt Leitner told KSTP.

This embed is invalid

Minnesota beat UMD in a shootout to win last year's inaugural tournament. But the shootout is dead in this year's title game. If the game goes to overtime, they'll play until a true winner is decided.

UMD radio play-by-play man Bruce Ciskie says the Bulldogs can't take the Beavers lightly, or they might see their winless streak reach four games. Ciskie writes that Bemidji State has plenty of skill, led by Cory Ward and brothers Myles and Leo Fitzgerald.

Since beating North Dakota on Jan. 9, UMD hasn't won. They lost to North Dakota on the 10th before tying and losing to Western Michigan last weekend. A second straight loss won't happen, according to head coach Scott Sandelin.

“This group still hasn’t lost back-to-back games all year and you know what, it’s not an easy thing,” Sandelin told the Duluth News Tribune. “We’re not going to let that happen. We’ll go play Bemidji and try and win that game Friday."

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-08-08 at 7.50.05 PM

Missing: 17-year-old Waite Park boy last seen July 3

Police say there is no reason to believe he's in danger.

Melanie Valencia

Northfield bicyclist killed in crash identified as 14-year-old

She was riding her bike to soccer practice before a driver hit her last week.

Samantha Holte

Appeal to find 17-year-old Minnesota girl

She was last seen north of Fergus Falls.

Pixabay - water surface

Man's body found near empty fishing boat on St. Croix River

The boat, and an unoccupied truck found on the shore, belong to a 43-year-old White Bear Lake man.


Police identify MOA shooting suspects, issue nationwide warrants

Three Twin Cities residents were charged Monday in connection with helping the suspects escape.

Screen Shot 2022-08-04 at 7.25.42 PM

Charges: Best Western employees helped MOA shooting suspects escape

Prosecutors allege two Best Western employees helped the suspects escape.

election, vote

What to watch for in 2022 Minnesota primary elections

Bring Me The News brings you a breakdown of what to watch for Tuesday.

Aaron Peterson

Charges: Felon accused of firing shots at police during Meeker Co. standoff

The 31-year-old surrendered after a 28-hour standoff in rural Meeker County.

flash flooding

Weekend rain totals pushed 6+ inches in Minnesota, Iowa; 10 in Illinois

Big-time rain totals across southern Minnesota, southeast South Dakota, northern Iowa and northern Illinois.

Airport traveler flying pixabay

Man who had meth, guns in checked luggage at MSP Airport gets 10 years

Kevin Alan Aguilar-Moreno, 21, attempted to board a Delta flight to Phoenix in October of last year.

Screen Shot 2022-08-08 at 7.13.33 AM

Family identifies man killed by police in Otsego

The 21-year-old was reportedly experiencing 'mental health challenges' and allegedly had a knife when deputies opened fire.