The mask of Kent Patterson, the Gophers' senior goalie, finished second in a national goalie mask contest run by College Hockey, Inc.
College Hockey, the marketing and informatonal arm of the Hockey Commissioners Asssociation, asked all 58 Division I teams to submit a nominee, 24 teams did,
Patterson's helmet, which features Goldy the Gopher with two big claws, was placed in a 16-mask bracket as were the masks of seven other WCHA goalies.
The Gophers' bracket had Bemidji State, Minnesota State Mankato, Minnesota Duluth, St. Cloud State -- the four other WCHA schools in Minnesota -- Colorado College, Denver and Wisconsin.
On the other half of the Gophers' 16-mask bracket were American International, Alaska, Lake Superior State, Miami, Michigan State, Niagara, Northern Michigan and Ohio State. There was also a bracket of eight masks on the other side.
In succession, Patterson's goalie mask beat the masks of Wisconsin's Landon Peterson, Denver's Adam Murray, Bemidji State's Dan Bakala and of Alaska-Fairbanks' Scott Greenham to reach the finals.
There Patterson's goalie mask went head-to-head with that of Eric Hartzell of Quinnipiac in an all-Minnesotan matchup. Hartzell was born in White Bear Lake. His father Kevin played for the Gophers from 1979-82 and is now the head coach of the Sioux Falls Stampede in the USHL.
He probably got a few votes from Minnesota, too, and that was probably the difference.
Hartzell's mask won 752 to 745, a seven-vote margin, in the fans voting, reported College Hockey Inc. on its Facebook page on Tuesday.
Maybe Patterson should ask for a recount? College Hockey actually did that because it was so close.
Hartzell's goalie mask is dominated by a bobcat, which is Quinnipiac's mascot. But it also has a map of the state of Minnesota on top.
Patterson's Goldy the Gopher has cracks and bandages and a few real nicks. And on the back is a mountain, symbolizing the long climb someone has to make to the top in a hockey season. He also has a cancer ribbon for two friends who died.
To hear Patterson talk about his goalie mask, click here.