The University of Minnesota men’s hockey team clinched its sixth Big Ten Conference regular season championship outright Thursday night and will be the top seed heading into the B1G Tournament. The No. 1 ranked team in the PairWise standings, the Golden Gophers are the only team in the league’s 10-year history to win multiple titles. Michigan’s shootout loss to Ohio State last night allowed Minnesota to clinch the conference crown.
The Gophers (21-8-1 overall, 15-4-1 B1G) followed their championship in 2021-22 by going back-to-back and did so in convincing fashion during the 2022-23 campaign. Minnesota has held the top spot in the league standings nearly the entire season thanks to a 10-game unbeaten streak from mid-November into the middle of January. It’s the earliest the ‘U’ has ever clinched a B1G title as there are still four games remaining in the regular season as it holds a 10-point lead over second-place Michigan after the Wolverines fell at Ohio State in a shootout Thursday.
The Maroon and Gold lead the B1G in scoring margin (+1.6 goals per game) as it ranks second nationally in that category thanks to its high-powered offense (4.0 goals per game) and shut-down defense (2.4 goals per game). Three of the top six individual scorers in the conference represent the ‘U’ as Jimmy Snuggerud (40), Logan Cooley (38) and Matthew Knies (31) have all reached the 30-point mark during the year, while goaltender Justen Close paces the league with five shutouts and a 2.09 goals against average.
As the top seed heading into the 2023 B1G Tournament, the Gophers receive a bye into the semifinals, which will be played March 11 at 3M Arena at Mariucci. Single-game tickets for the tournament are on sale now by clicking the link HERE with prices starting as low as $20.
(info and photo courtesy of Gopher Sports)