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Must-watch tonight: Big Ten special on 1979 Gophers hockey team

Posted by: Michael Rand under Gophers Updated: October 25, 2013 - 3:28 PM

If you are a nostalgic Minnesota sports fan -- and really, is there any other kind? -- you will want to either tune in or set your DVR for the Big Ten Network at 9:30 p.m. Friday night.

A special on the 1978-79 Gophers men's hockey team -- the last of three Gophers teams to win an NCAA title under Herb Brooks -- will air (conveniently right after the Gophers/BC game on the same channel).

The good folks at BTN were nice enough to send over an advance copy, and we can attest it is worth your while. Among the items we found most interesting:

*Dan Brooks, Herb's son, asserting that the program was in such disarray in 1971-72 that there was a rumor that the administration was going to cut the team from the budget before Herb took over as coach.

*Awesome footage, of course, of 1970s college hockey. Note the size of goalie pads. Also, of course, fantastic hockey hair and unironic mustaches.

*Stories of how hard Brooks worked his players when he wasn't happy.

*The change in recruiting philosophy in Brooks' later years, which helped lead to the 1979 title.

*A nice buildup to the key games in the season.

We won't spoil it all, but you should watch. We imagine it will re-air several times, but this is your first chance.

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