The team we all know as the Minnesota State Mavericks went by a different name in 1995. Mankato State University transferred to the newly created Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system in 1995. However, the school didn’t change its name until 1998. The Mankato State Mavericks hosted a team from the Twin Cities January 27, 1995. The St. Thomas Tommies made their way to southern Minnesota that Friday to take on the Mavericks in the first game of a home-and-home series that weekend. While both programs are currently playing Division I hockey, the Mavericks were Division II and the Tommies were Division III during the 1994-95 season.
The Mavericks had a 16-5 record going into the Friday night game. The Tommies held a lead going into the third period that night thanks to stellar play by goalie Brian Volp. Mark Zacharias scored 8:50 into the period to tie it for the home team. Then with 24 seconds remaining, Brian Amundson scored the power play game winner for the Mavericks. The two teams would play the next night in St. Paul where the Mavericks won again by a one-goal margin. This time in a higher-scoring affair: 6-5.
This January 27, 1995, game is historic for Minnesota State in that it was the last men’s hockey game played at All Seasons Arena in Mankato. The men’s team played the first game at the new Mankato Civic Center (now known as the Mayo Clinic Health System Event Center) the following weekend. The Mavericks defeated Alabama-Huntsville 6-3 February 3, 1995, to christen the new arena. The Minnesota State men’s team still practices at All Seasons Arena and the women’s hockey team plays home games there.
The same two teams will meet for a best-of-three series this weekend in Mankato at the Mayo Clinic Health System Event Center during the opening weekend of the playoffs for the revived CCHA. Minnesota State is the top-seed in the conference. These two teams – along with all other CCHA teams – are looking to win the famed Mason Cup in this first season of the reforged CCHA. This is also the first season St. Thomas is participating in Division I hockey.
In the featured image, Aaron Broten of Mankato State takes a shot against St. Thomas goalie Brian Volp at All Seasons Arena.
Photo Credit: Mankato State Reporter, Vol. 66, No. 41, January 31, 1995.