Hockey fans who are down in the dumps over the NHL lockout have a reason to perk up this weekend. The 22nd annual Mariucci Classic brings top ranked college teams to town in the University of Minnesota's annual holiday tournament this Saturday and Sunday.
The Star Tribune reports the number 4-ranked Gophers (11-3-3 overall, 6-3-3 Western Collegiate Hockey Association) will be back in action along with teams from number 1-ranked Boston College, (11-2-1, 9-2-1 Hockey East) Air Force (5-7-3, 4-4-2 AHA) and Alabama-Huntsville (3-14-1). The Gophers play Boston College on Sunday at 7, the first time the two teams have met since the Gophers fell to BC in last season's national championship.
Coach Don Lucia said that Gopher goalie Mike Shibrowski has returned to practice after a November injury kept him off the ice. But the Gophers will play without defenseman Mike Reilly, who is at the world junior tournament in Russia.
Check details of the schedule for the tournament at Gophersports.