Special moments and players in Mariucci's first 20 seasons

  • Article by: JASON GONZALEZ , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 3, 2014 - 3:23 PM

Special moments and players in the short history of the arena with a big ice sheet.

 

Twenty years ago the “Taj Mahal” of college hockey opened on the University of Minnesota campus. The new Mariucci Arena was a palace fit for Gophers hockey.

The 200-feet by 100-feet Olympic-sized ice sheet at the center of the venue was pristine. The hockey that it would play host to over the next 20 years was even better.

It started with a 4-4 tie against St. Cloud State on Oct. 30, 1993, and the excitement hasn’t let up. In the last game there before this weekend’s Mariucci Classic, Seth Ambroz scored a goal with 26 seconds left to give the Gophers a sweep of Wisconsin in the first Big Ten hockey series ever.

The individual talent to skate in the arena has been special. At least half of the 2014 men’s Olympic roster has played at Mariucci, including three former Gophers.

“It’s almost crazy when you look at all the guys that came through here. There are 20 guys on the Olympic roster that played college hockey and about 16 probably played at Mariucci,” said Grant Potulny, former Gophers standout and current assistant coach. “Mariucci was the Taj Mahal when it was built.”

With every aging arena, upkeep is necessary. In 2001-2002, 18 luxury suites were added to allow an even 10,000 fans into each event. Last season, a new LED scoreboard and sound system were installed.

The thing fans continue to fill the seats for, though, is the outstanding hockey talent on the ice each night.

In honor of the venue’s 20th anniversary and this weekend’s Mariucci Classic, here’s a look at the top 10 moments and top 10 players to come through Mariucci Arena.

Note: The lists were determined by a survey of former Gophers coaches and players, media members and fans. The memories are in chronological order.

 

Upsetting No. 1

Though there were many, Mike Crowley’s most memorable goal arguably came on Feb. 9, 1996. His wrist shot past Colorado College’s goaltender gave the Gophers a 3-2 victory against the top-ranked Tigers in front a sellout crowd. It was the Gophers’ only victory against the Tigers that season. Current Gophers coach Don Lucia was on the opposing bench at the time.

 

A timely late hat trick

Ryan Kraft made sure the Gophers would hang another banner in Mariucci Arena with a third-period hat trick against Wisconsin in 1997. Kraft’s goals enabled the Gophers to pull away for a 7-3 victory and claim a share of the WCHA regular-season championship.

 

Over-the-head good

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  • Mariucci Arena, in 2002.

  • Ticket from new Mariucci Arena's grand opening in 1993.

  • Gopher Mike Crowley’s goal beat No. 1 Colorado College in 1996.

  • Ryan Kraft’s hat trick for the Gophers in the third period of a 1997 game against Wisconsin clinched a share of the MacNaughton Cup.

  • Mariucci Arena fills up for most Gophers hockey games.

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Cincinnati - LP: J. Broxton 1 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: T. Watson 2
Minnesota - LP: T. May 1 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: M. Gonzalez 9
NY Yankees - WP: C. Capuano 6 FINAL
Toronto - LP: M. Buehrle 3
Philadelphia - LP: J. Diekman 1 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: J. deGrom 4
Boston - WP: A. Ranaudo 8 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: C. Archer 4
Miami - LP: C. Hatcher 2 FINAL
Atlanta - WP: D. Carpenter 5
Cleveland - WP: D. Salazar 6 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: J. Vargas 1
Detroit - WP: J. Verlander 7 FINAL
Chicago WSox - LP: S. Carroll 1
Texas - WP: S. Baker 13 FINAL
Houston - LP: B. Oberholtzer 6
Chicago Cubs - WP: N. Ramirez 7 FINAL
St. Louis - LP: P. Neshek 2
Colorado - LP: R. Brothers 2 FINAL
Arizona - WP: B. Ziegler 5
Oakland - LP: J. Lester 0 FINAL
LA Angels - WP: J. Weaver 4
Los Angeles - LP: K. Correia 2 FINAL
San Diego - WP: T. Stauffer 3
Washington - WP: J. Zimmermann 8 FINAL
Seattle - LP: F. Hernandez 3
Milwaukee - LP: W. Peralta 2 FINAL
San Francisco - WP: R. Vogelsong 13
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
(21) Texas A&M 52 FINAL
(9) So Carolina 28
Wake Forest 10 FINAL
ULM 17
Boise State 13 FINAL
(18) Ole Miss 35
Tulane 31 FINAL
Tulsa 38
Rutgers 41 FINAL
Washington St 38
Weber State 14 FINAL
(19) Arizona State 45
Temple 37 FINAL
Vanderbilt 7
BYU 35 FINAL
Connecticut 10
(6) Jacksonville St 7 FINAL
(8) Michigan State 45
Bowling Green 31 FINAL
Western Ky 59
TX-San Antonio 27 FINAL
Houston 7
Colorado State 31 FINAL
Colorado 17
UNLV 13 FINAL
Arizona 58
Penn State 7:30 AM
UCF
Troy 11:00 AM
UAB
(7) UCLA 11:00 AM
Virginia
Western Mich 11:00 AM
Purdue
(5) Ohio State 11:00 AM
Navy
Appalachian St 11:00 AM
Michigan
Ga Southern 11:30 AM
NC State
Boston College 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
West Virginia 2:30 PM
(2) Alabama
Rice 2:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
(10) South Dakota St 2:30 PM
(24) Missouri
Fla Atlantic 2:30 PM
(22) Nebraska
California 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Marshall 2:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
UC Davis 3:00 PM
(11) Stanford
Arkansas 3:00 PM
(6) Auburn
(16) Clemson 4:30 PM
(12) Georgia
Liberty 5:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 6:00 PM
Florida
Stephen F Austin 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 6:30 PM
(15) USC
Southern Miss 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 7:00 PM
Texas
(1) Florida State 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
(14) Wisconsin 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Houston 3 FINAL
Sporting Kansas City 1
Ottawa 10 FINAL
Montreal 20
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Winnipeg
Minnesota 71 FINAL
Phoenix 85
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 season     
Aug 28 - vs. E. Illinois 6 pmX42-20
Sep 6 - vs. M. Tennessee St. 2:30 pm
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pm
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. TBA
Sep 27 - at Michigan TBA
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern TBA
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 am
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 am
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa TBA
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State TBA
Nov 22 - at Nebraska TBA
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin TBA

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