The first hockey game between the University of Denver and Colorado College was played January 6, 1950. It was just the fifth game in program history for Denver. The twelve-year head start in hockey for Colorado College was evident in a 16-0 shellacking that the Tigers provided to the new kids on the block. The next night was a closer contest when the Tigers only won by ten goals in another shutout. It didn’t get any easier for the Pioneers that season – or the next – as Denver went winless against Colorado College in the first two seasons of the program. Denver finally struck gold in the tenth game between these intrastate rivals and won 4-3 in Colorado Springs.

By the time the 1953-54 season arrived, Denver was ready to build upon a 17-6-1 season. Colorado College had dipped to a 9-11-0 record the year before. The two teams played four times during the season with three of the four games taking place in 1954. Colorado College hosted the first meeting December 19, 1953. The visitors won the game 7-5. It was the first conference game of the season for both teams with each program having played school alumni and the Edmonton Oil Kings to open the season. A home-and-home series was on tap the following month. On January 15, 1954, Denver welcomed the Tigers to the University of Denver Arena and won 5-4. The next night the teams traveled to Colorado Springs and the Tigers earned a split in the series with a 6-5 victory. The final game of the season between these two teams took place February 27. Denver’s archives state that the game was played at home while Colorado College’s archives state that the game was played at that school’s home rink. We here at College Hockey History are led to believe that it was played in Denver in order to complete the even schedule of two home games per team. The Pioneers won the final game against their rival 6-2 and won the season series 3-1. Denver ended the season with a 16-9-0 record. Colorado College bounced back with a winning season at 14-9-1.

Did Denver’s early losses to Colorado College in the opening stages of the program jump-start this rivalry for Denver? Did it provide an extra kick to this program and ultimately fuel a dynasty that emerged the following decade? This could very well be the case. Either way, the rivalry took off and Denver quickly fielded a competitive team.

The Pioneers would have won the Gold Pan trophy in 1954 if it had been around at the time. However, it was first introduced in 1993 to be awarded every season to the team that wins the most head-to-head regular season games between these two teams. Denver won the Gold Pan last season with a 3-1 season record over Colorado College. The two teams have yet to play this season. That changes this weekend as the teams play a home-and-home series starting in Denver at Magness Arena on Friday. The Saturday game will be the first game between these two teams at the new Ed Robson Arena for Colorado College. This also marks the first time the two teams will play against one another on the Colorado College campus. Fans attending the games this weekend or watching at home will see games 329 and 330 in the all-time series.

In the featured photo, two players wearing number 9 for Denver and Colorado College vie for the puck in the corner. Colorado College is in white while Denver is wearing Crimson sweaters. The referee looks on as well as a ring of fans in the standing-room section at ice level. The University of Denver Arena was almost-assuredly a full house for the rivalry. The photo was taken either January 15 or February 27, 1954. The Denver player is Barrie Middleton.

Photo Credit: Digital Collections at DU

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The first season of hockey in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference began in the fall of 1998. The MAAC fielded eight teams in that inaugural year. The conference hosted a single-elimination postseason tournament with the semifinals and championship game taking place in Worcester, Massachusetts.

When the first MAAC regular season ended, Quinnipiac was at the front of the pack and earned the top seed in the postseason tournament. Two other teams that were also in the upper half of the seeding were Holy Cross at two and Canisius at four. As with other MAAC hockey programs, this was the first year in Division I for both Holy Cross and Canisius. The Holy Cross Crusaders entered the postseason with a 19-9-4 overall record and a five-game unbeaten streak. The Canisius Golden Griffins entered with a 14-14-5 overall record and had just completed a sweep at Fairfield the weekend before the tournament.

In the opening round of the tournament, Canisius hosted American International and defeated the Yellow Jackets 7-4. Holy Cross hosted Sacred Heart and defeated the Pioneers 3-1. This win guaranteed home-ice advantage for the Crusaders throughout the remainder of the playoffs due to Holy Cross hosting the final three games of the tournament at the Hart Center. Canisius drew the top-seed Quinnipiac Braves. (The school would change the nickname to the Bobcats in 2001). The Golden Griffins put up five goals on Quinnipiac – with one being a short-handed goal – and came away with the 5-2 upset. In the other semifinal, the Crusaders took down three seed UConn 4-3 in overtime.

The first MAAC championship hockey game was held March 20, 1999. Coming into the game, Holy Cross held the season series lead at 3-0-1. It was an even title game through two periods with the score tied 3-3. Mike Maguire scored at the beginning of the third period in what ultimately ended up being the game-winning goal for the Crusaders. When it was all said and done, Holy Cross defeated Canisius 4-3 to capture the MAAC title. It was the first time in school history the hockey program had won a conference title. Junior Chris Fattey led the team with 46 points throughout the season. This would be the last game of the season for both teams. The MAAC was a new conference and had yet to earn an automatic berth to the NCAA Division I national tournament.

Canisius players on the ice during and after the loss against Holy Cross in the MAAC championship game on March 20, 1999.

Flash forward to the beginning of the 2002-03 season. The MAAC fielded 11 teams at that point. However, two teams (Iona and Fairfield) ceased hockey operations following the season. The nine remaining teams decided to break away from the MAAC to create a new conference: Atlantic Hockey Association.

The old division foes will face off again at the Hart Center this weekend when Canisius visits Worcester. Coming into this season, Holy Cross has won the Atlantic Hockey tournament twice (2004, 2006) and Canisius once (2013). The teams have yet to meet this season.

Photo Credit: (Featured Image) Holy Cross Crusader Nation Magazine, Winter 2009. (Second Image) The Griffin, March 26, 1999.

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The Great Lakes Invitational tournament began in 1965 with Michigan Tech as the host team. The Huskies were the only Michigan-based team that participated that year. At least three of the four teams that have participated each year since the 1979 tournament have been Michigan-based Division I men’s teams. The champion is awarded the MacInnes Cup.

The 2013 edition of the tournament was unique in that it took place outdoors at Comerica Park in Detroit. It was held the final weekend in December and included four Michigan teams: Michigan Tech, Western Michigan, Michigan and Michigan State. This was the third time this grouping of teams had faced off against one another in the tournament. However, it was the first time this tournament was played outdoors.

This 49th edition of the tournament was included as part of the festivities around the 2014 NHL Winter Classic that took place on New Year’s Day. In that game, the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 in a shootout at Michigan Stadium. The NHL game at Michigan Stadium was originally scheduled to occur the previous year – along with an outdoor Great Lakes Invitational tournament – but everything was pushed back due to the 2012 NHL lockout that season.

The first game of the 2013 Great Lakes Invitational was between Michigan State and Michigan Tech. The announced crowd was more than 25,000 on December 27. The Spartans came into the game with a 5-9-1 record in the first year of Big Ten Hockey. Michigan Tech had already swept the Spartans in Houghton, Michigan, the previous month. The Huskies also had a losing record of 6-9-5 in the new-look WCHA. Michigan State scored two early goals in the third period to go up 2-1. But Alex Petan of Michigan Tech scored the equalizer 8:13 into the period and that’s how it remained until the end of regulation. A shootout was needed to determine which team would advance to the tournament championship the following day. Michigan Tech’s Ryan Furne scored the shootout winner in the fifth round to send the team to the championship.

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The second game of the Day 1 was between Michigan and Western Michigan. Sitting at a 10-2-2 record, the Wolverines were the favorite to win the tournament. Western Michigan sported a 7-8-3 record and represented the brand-new NCHC conference. The Broncos were the runner-up in the previous year’s Great Lakes Invitational. The two teams had yet to face one another that season prior to the tournament. The Wolverines got on the board first with a shorthanded goal by JT Compher in the second period. But the Broncos bounced back and scored two of their own before the second frame was over. The Wolverines tied the score in the third and that’s how it remained at the end of regulation. With just nineteen seconds left in overtime, Josh Pitt scored the game winner for Western Michigan to send the Broncos to the title game.

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The MacInnes Cup would be awarded to either Michigan Tech or Western Michigan on December 28. But first the consolation game would be played between Michigan and Michigan State. The two rivals had yet to play that season. The Spartans surprised the college hockey world by shutting out Michigan 3-0. With many people picking Michigan to win the tournament, the team ended up in 4th place out of four teams.

More than 26,000 fans were in attendance to see which team would be the first to hoist the MacInnes Cup outdoors. It was a rematch of the previous year’s Great Lakes Invitational championship game that saw the Huskies blank the Broncos 4-0. In this rematch, the teams were evenly matched and both had great scoring chances. At one point in the second period Daniel Holmberg of Michigan Tech hit the cross bar for no goal. By the end of the game, shots were 33-31 in favor of Michigan Tech yet no goals had been scored. The game would be decided in overtime. It only took two minutes and one second for Justin Kovacs to score the game-winning goal. It was the second time the Broncos won the Great Lakes Invitational and first time since 1986.

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The same four teams will participate in this year’s Great Lakes Invitational. It will be the fifth time this grouping of teams will participate in the tournament (with the fourth being in 2016.) However, it will be a showcase tournament with games being held at Munn Ice Arena in East Lansing and Yost Ice Arena in Ann Arbor. The first two games will be held December 29 when Michigan State will host Western Michigan and Michigan will host Michigan Tech. The two visiting teams are scheduled to swap ice arenas the following night with Michigan State hosting Michigan Tech on Saturday and Michigan hosting Western Michigan. Unfortunately, Michigan announced December 27 that the team is cancelling the game on Saturday against Western Michigan. The official release stated health and welfare protocols but it sounds like it is not due to COVID but instead to prevent wear and tear on a roster that is missing five players to the IIHF World Junior Championship in Canada. This tournament will look different than previous iterations and no champion will be crowned for the second year in a row since last year’s tournament was canceled due to COVID. But the bright spot is that college hockey will be showcased again this holiday season in the state of Michigan.

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Let’s flash back to the late 1970s. Ohio State and Bowling Green are not only in-state hockey rivals, but also in-conference rivals within the previous incarnation of the CCHA. The two teams played four times in the 1976-77 regular season with all games taking place in the second half of the season in 1977. The teams split the first series at Ohio State after the Buckeyes won 5-4 in overtime in the second game of the weekend. The final regular season series of the year for both teams saw the Buckeyes travel to Bowling Green in what resulted in another split. The Falcons put 10 goals on the board in the Friday night game on February 25, 1977. The Buckeyes rebounded to win 4-2 the following evening. The Falcons finished second within the CCHA with a 10-6-0 conference record and the Buckeyes finished third at 8-7-1. With four teams advancing to the CCHA playoffs, this set the stage for a rematch the following weekend at Bowling Green.

In 1977, the CCHA playoffs included four teams and consisted of two semifinal series and a championship series. All three series included two games apiece with the aggregate goals rule in effect. This meant that the team that scored the most total goals within the two games was declared the winner. The first semifinal game between OSU and Bowling Green took place on Friday, March 4. With the season series tied 2-2, something had to give. The first night saw the Falcons defeat the Buckeyes 5-2. If Ohio State wanted to keep its season alive, the team had to win the second game by a minimum of four goals. Unfortunately for the Buckeyes, that didn’t happen. In the second game that took place March 6, 1977, Bowling Green finished off Ohio State by a score of 4-1. This effectively ended Ohio State’s season while the Falcons moved on to the CCHA championship series against top-ranked St. Louis.

The following weekend saw the Falcons defeat the Billikens 4-0 in game one. St. Louis responded in game two by winning 4-1. However, the total goals scored differential favored the Falcons by one goal. The 1977 CCHA tournament title earned Bowling Green an invite to the 1977 national tournament. It was the first appearance in the Division I men’s national tournament for Bowling Green. It also happened to be the first time the national tournament field had expanded past four with the Falcons securing the fifth spot. The Falcons ended up losing the first round game 7-5 to eventual national runner-up Michigan.

Ohio State and Bowling Green will begin a home-and-home series this week on Thursday night. It’s the first time the teams will face one another since October 27, 2018, when the Falcons and Buckeyes tied 2-2 at Bowling Green. The first game is Thursday in Columbus and the teams will travel north to Bowling Green for a Friday night matchup. The two teams are no longer both within the same conference. Bowling Green is once again affiliated with the new-look CCHA while Ohio State is in the Big Ten hockey conference. This is the ninth season since the two programs parted ways for different conferences yet this week’s matchup will be the sixth season the in-state rivals will face off against one another in that time period. So despite changes in conference alignment, the Battle for Ohio continues on. With all of the conference shifting in the past decade within Division I men’s hockey, a focus on keeping in-state rivalries in tact is very beneficial for the sport.

In the above photo, Jack Laine and Paul Titanic of Bowling Green look down at an OSU player who has the puck beneath him. The photo was taken during the CCHA semifinal series at Bowling Green in March 1977.

Photo Credit: Bowling Green State University, “The Key 1977” (1977). BGSU Key Yearbooks.

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On November 25, 2017, Boston University and Cornell met at Madison Square Garden for the sixth edition of Red Hot Hockey. The Red Hot Hockey event was introduced in 2007 when two long-time rivals squared off in New York City’s famous arena. The inaugural game drew 18,200 fans and was considered a success. Members of the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team were on hand to watch Boston University defeat Cornell. The two programs decided to make a series out of it. After this first game, the Terriers and Big Red have met every odd numbered year the weekend after Thanksgiving in Madison Square Garden in a series known as Red Hot Hockey.

After the first five editions of Red Hot Hockey, Boston University was undefeated with a record of 3-0-2. This changed in 2017. The Big Red jumped out to a 1-0 lead on a goal from Beau Starrett with less than five minutes remaining in the first period. Cornell extended the lead on a goal from Trevor Yates less than seven minutes into the second frame. Then just a little more than two minutes later, Alec McCrea scored a power-play goal to put the Big Red up 3-0. Boston University scored in the third period before Cornell could really pull away. It was a power-play goal from Dante Fabbro less than five minutes into the period. Cornell answered back when freshman Tristan Mullin scored his first collegiate goal. The Terriers would score two more goals by Chad Krys and Patrick Harper but it wasn’t enough. The Big Red held on to the 4-3 win and captured the program’s first Red Hot Hockey win and, with it, the Kelley-Harkness Cup.

In the above photo, Boston University’s Jordan Greenway skates around Cornell’s Brendan Smith during the first period of the 2017 Red Hot Hockey game at Madison Square Garden.

The two red-clad teams will meet for the eighth installment of Red Hot Hockey this weekend on November 27. Cornell is on a two-game Red Hot Hockey winning streak after registering the series’ first shut out in 2019. The game will once again take place at Madison Square Garden in New York City. For two programs that have a storied history of playing against one another since 1925, the Red Hot Hockey series adds an extra kick to this rivalry every two years.

On November 13, 1921, the Intercollegiate Athletic Association passed a rule that hockey teams were to reduce the number of players on the ice per team from seven to six. The rule took effect in the upcoming 1921-22 season. Several teams had already shifted to six-man hockey yet others had remained with seven. This rule change set to ensure that all teams were on the same page in order to avoid confusion about which set of rules would be used for each game. The National Hockey League had previously adopted this rule change in 1911 when it was known as the National Hockey Association. It was a success with players and fans. More than one hundred years later, hockey at all levels is still a six-man game (counting five players and goalie for each team on the ice).

An article in the December 1, 1921, edition of the Daily Princetonian stated that the Intercollegiate Athletic Association had passed the rule. This was the original name of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) when it formed in 1906. However, the association had changed its name in 1910 to the current version we all know at this time. Making things even murkier, an article in the November 15, 1921, edition of the Daily Princetonian stated that it was the new Intercollegiate Ice Hockey Association of America that passed this rule. This was likely a misprint because the same paragraph later stated that the association was a league that included soccer and basketball and was created to pass rules and decide upon officials. The Princeton hockey team had previously played within the Intercollegiate Hockey Association of America but that league disbanded in 1913 and the team was a part of the Triangular Hockey League with Harvard and Yale in 1921. Clear as mud, right?

Our view here at College Hockey History is that Princeton and other teams brought their hockey, basketball and soccer programs under the umbrella of the NCAA on November 13, 1921, and it was at that time that official rules for hockey games were solidified.

Article from the November 15, 1921, issue of the Daily Princetonian
Article from the November 15, 1921, issue of the Daily Princetonian

The aforementioned rule change was the most significant rule passed that day for college hockey but it wasn’t the only rule decided that day for the sport. For instance, it was decided that player substitutions should only be made when the puck was dead. This rule didn’t last long because it was Harvard that created the first line change during game play in 1923 that was quickly adopted by other teams after witnessing its success. An important rule solidified the duration of games. It would now be standard that games would consist of three periods that each lasted fifteen minutes. If the game ended in a tie, the teams would have two overtime periods of five minutes to determine a winner. Lastly, it was agreed upon that all members of the team would wear numbered sweaters in the same fashion as the players in football.

This was a monumental moment in college hockey. Long gone were the days of determining the rules on the rink before a game started. Now there was a governing body that would do that for them. And with the onset of these new rules, the game at that time made a huge leap towards the game of hockey as we know it today.

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The 1991 Division I men’s title game required three overtimes to determine a champion. When it was all said and done, fifteen goals were scored in the final game of the 1990-91 season. Two teams that were powerhouses throughout the season met in this final game: Northern Michigan and Boston University. The Northern Michigan Wildcats came into the game with a record of 37-5-4. As the WCHA regular season and tournament champion, the team was riding a staggering 25-game unbeaten streak. The Boston University Terriers were boasting a 28-10-2 record as the Hockey East tournament champions. The team only had one loss in the last twelve games.

In 1991, the national tournament teams were divided between East and West regions. Four east teams would face four west teams in the first round. Northern Michigan and Boston University were 2 seeds in the respective regions. This meant both programs received a bye in the first round. The Quarterfinal Round was a best-of-three series. In the quarterfinals, Northern Michigan swept Alaska Anchorage while Boston University swept Michigan sending both teams to St. Paul for the semifinals. (The Frozen Four title wasn’t officially coined until 1998.) The Wildcats defeated Maine 5-3 while the Terriers ran through Clarkson 7-3. This set the stage for one of the most thrilling title games in college hockey history.

Boston University got on the board quick – exactly one minute into the game – when Ed Ronan scored his fifteenth goal of the season. Before the period was halfway over, the Terriers would tally two more; one being Ronan’s sixteenth of the season. The score remained 3-0 at the first intermission.

Members of the crowd were likely wondering if this was the beginning of a blowout when it reality it was the polar opposite. Head coach Rick Comley lit a fire under the Wildcats as Dean Antos put them on the board 1:33 into the middle frame on a power-play goal. Mark Beaufait would score less than three minutes later for the Wildcats. They wouldn’t stop there. In fact, Northern Michigan scored three more unanswered goals during the period to make it 5-3 Wildcats at the second intermission. Two of the goals would be numbers 46 and 47 on the season for Scott Beattie.

It was a back-and-forth start to the third period. The Wildcats extended the lead to 6-3 on Scott Beattie’s hat trick goal just over three minutes into the final period. Dave Tomlinson stopped the bleeding and put the Terriers back on the board several minutes later. After another Wildcat goal, the score was 7-4 with less than eight minutes left in regulation. That’s when Boston University would kick it into another gear. Tony Amonte and Shawn McEachern both scored within three minutes of each other. Then with only 39 seconds left in the game, David Sacco scored the late-tying goal to make it 7-7. It was Sacco’s second goal of the night and would send the game to overtime.

Two overtime periods would end up scoreless. Then only 1:57 into the third overtime, Darryl Plandowski netted the championship-winning goal in the third overtime. It also give him a hat trick for the game. It was Northern Michigan’s first Division I men’s hockey championship. Boston University would need to wait four more years to win the program’s fourth championship trophy.

Both of these teams will meet this weekend for a two-game series in Marquette, Michigan. This will be Boston University’s first visit to Marquette since 1988 and first time playing at the Barry Events Center. Northern Michigan will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the championship this weekend. The historic 1991 team will be honored during the first intermission of the Saturday night game.

Photo Credit: Sports Illustrated (April 8, 1991)

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On February 17, 2020, Air Force and Colorado College took the Battle for Pikes Peak outside for the first time. Air Force hosted Colorado College in the second game of a home-and-home series. It was played outdoors at the football stadium in game that was touted as the Faceoff at Falcon Stadium. It was the first outdoor hockey game in program history for Air Force and the second for Colorado College – the first was against Denver at Coors Field in 2016. This was also the second outdoor hockey game played on the field at Falcon Stadium in three days. The NHL hosted a Stadium Series game two days earlier on Saturday that saw the Los Angeles Kings defeat the Colorado Avalanche 3-1.

The Tigers won the first game of the weekend at home on Friday night 6-2 and were looking for the first back-to-back wins since sweeping Princeton in December. The Falcons were hoping to get back in the win column for the first time since a sweep against Niagara in January. And above all, the Pikes Peak Trophy hung in the balance. The two teams first met in 1969 and created the Pikes Peak Trophy in 2013 to be awarded each year.

Grant Cruikshank broke the proverbial ice when he scored a power-play goal in the first period. He scored the second goal of the game halfway through the second period to make it 2-0 Tigers. The Falcons got on the board with a power-play goal of their own with only 34 seconds left in the second frame. The teams traded goals early in the third period. With Air Force down one goal, Grant Cruikshank netted the hat trick and put the game away with 37 seconds left in regulation. Colorado College defeated Air Force 4-2 and retained the Pikes Peak Trophy.

The same two teams will reignite the Battle for Pikes Peak this weekend. The rivalry was put on hold last season due to COVID scheduling. The home-and-home series starts off (indoors) at Air Force on Friday with Colorado College hosting the second game at the brand new Ed Robson Arena on Saturday. Air Force will be looking to bring home the Pikes Peak Trophy for the first time since 2017.

In the above photo, Luke Manning drives to the net as Colorado College goalie Matt Vernon prepares for a shot.

Photo Credit: Trevor Cokley via DVIDS

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The date: April 9, 2016. The location: Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida. The teams: number one overall seed Quinnipiac Bobcats versus number three overall seed North Dakota. The stakes: 2016 Division I men’s national champion.

Quinnipiac entered the game as the ECAC regular season and tournament champion with a 32-3-7 record. North Dakota entered the game as an at-large bid after losing in the NCHC semifinals to UMD 4-2. However, the Fighting Hawks won the NCHC regular season crown and were heading into the title game with a 33-6-4 record. This was a heavyweight battle for the title and a packed house of 19,358 were there to take in every moment of it.

The championship game was scoreless for the first half of the opening period until freshman Shane Gersich put North Dakota on the board first. Several minutes later fellow freshman Brock Boeser scored a short-handed goal for the Fighting Hawks to make it 2-0. Quinnipiac would get on the board at the end of the period on a 5-on-3 power-play goal from Tim Clifton. There was no scoring in the second frame. North Dakota senior Drake Caggiula scored two goals in the third period to put the game out of reach for the Bobcats. Austin Poganski put the final stamp on the game and sealed it for the Fighting Hawks halfway through the third period. The final score was 5-1. This was North Dakota’s eighth national championship for the men’s team and first since 2000.

This weekend, these same two teams will meet on the ice for the first time since this championship tilt. Quinnipiac will host North Dakota on Friday and Saturday at the team’s home arena in Hamden, Connecticut. Not only will it be a rematch of the championship game from five years ago, it will also be a top ten battle. North Dakota travels east as the number 6 team in the nation with Quinnipiac as the number 7 team. As it stands, the Fighting Hawks own a 4-0 record against the Bobcats and it will be the first time North Dakota has played in Hamden. There are no longer any Quinnipiac Bobcats on the team from the 2016 title game but head coach Rand Pecknold surely remembers it well. He will look to avenge that loss this weekend with a win or two in yet another heavyweight battle between these two programs.

This is the first article in our new On Location series where we will live tweet a college game that we attend in person and then later post an article here on the site.

Teams: St. Cloud State Huskies at St. Thomas Tommies

Where: Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota

When: October 3, 2021 at 5:07 p.m.

Puck drop at the first St. Thomas home game on October 3, 2021
Opening puck drop at the first St. Thomas home game on October 3, 2021.

This was the second game of a home-and-home series to begin the 2021-22 season for these two teams. St. Cloud State hosted the first game on Saturday night and showed the new Division I team why they are ranked #2/3 in the preseason polls. The Huskies impressively won 12-2. The same two teams met on Sunday evening on October 3, 2021, in St. Paul. It’s credited as the first Division I home game for St. Thomas despite it being at the Xcel Energy Center instead of the team’s St. Thomas Ice Arena. 4,261 fans were in attendance.

St. Cloud State jumped out to a 1-0 lead on a power play goal from Zach Okabe in the first period. Jami Krannila and Spencer Meier assisted on the play. Shots on goal in the first period were 12-4 in favor of the Huskies.

St. Cloud State celebrates a first period goal to put the Huskies up 1-0
St. Cloud State celebrates a first period goal to put the Huskies up 1-0.

The Xcel Energy Center is home to the NCHC Frozen Faceoff. This weekend of hockey played every March includes the final four teams left in the conference tournament with the winner of the title game hoisting the Frozen Faceoff trophy and earning an automatic bid to the national tournament. The NCHC conference tournament took place in Grand Forks, North Dakota in 2021 but the Frozen Faceoff will return to St. Paul in 2022. This game against St. Thomas is the first time St. Cloud State has played at the Xcel Energy Center since March 23, 2019, when the Huskies lost 3-2 in 2OT to UMD in the 2019 NCHC Frozen Faceoff title game.

NCHC team logos showing that the Xcel Energy Center is home of the NCHC Frozen Faceoff
The Xcel Energy Center is home to the NCHC Frozen Faceoff.

In the second period, the Huskies scored again to make it 2-0 heading into the third period. This time the goal was from Micah Miller with the assist from Kevin Fitzgerald. The Tommies had several chances but came up short. Shots in the second frame were 7-6 in favor of St. Cloud State.

St. Thomas gets a shot off in the second period of the October 3, 2021 game
St. Thomas gets a shot off in the second period of the October 3, 2021 game against St. Cloud State.

There’s an area in the Xcel Energy Center that is devoted to the Hobey Baker and Patty Kazmaier Memorial Awards. It includes a list of past winners, replica Hobey Baker Award, and jerseys of a handful of past recipients. There are also summaries of the awards and what they mean to the hockey community.

There was no scoring in the third period. St. Thomas pulled the goalie but no goals were scored for either team before time expired. St. Cloud State outshot the Tommies 29-14. David Hrenak recorded his first shutout of the season as the Huskies opened the season with two wins. The Tommies put up a good fight but are still looking for the program’s first Division I win.

St. Cloud State still pushing the puck in the final minutes of the St. Cloud State and St. Thomas game on October 3, 2021
Final minutes of the St. Cloud State and St. Thomas game on October 3, 2021.