Patrick Plus: Some love college hockey, more leave it

  • Updated: March 22, 2014 - 10:53 PM

We were the epicenter of men’s collegiate hockey this weekend, with the two top-level “western’’ conferences that survived this season’s upheaval holding tournaments here: the NCHC’s Frozen Faceoff at Target Center and the Big Ten at Xcel Energy Center.

Nationally, this caused the same amount of attention to be focused on the Twin Cities as did two Division I basketball tournaments being held in the Houston area last weekend: the SWAC in the city and the Southland in the suburbs.

There have been occasions when I’ve referred to our six “big-time’’ sports entities: Vikings, Twins, Timberwolves, Wild, Gophers football and Gophers men’s basketball.

That list is offered as a bow to reality, but the responses generally include ridicule for not including A) Gophers men’s hockey or B) the Lynx.

The conflict comes in defining “big-time.’’ To me, it’s competition in a sport and a league that captures the interest of a fair share of the nation’s sports fans.

The only questionable piece of our Big-Time Six would be the Wild — and I would say, the NHL reaches the “fair share’’ threshold during the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Local interest is a different matter. There is a respectable level of interest with the Twin Cities sporting public for the postseason adventures of the Gophers men’s hockey team.

It will enter the NCAA tournament as the favorite to win the national title after a decade-long drought. If it does so, a couple of hundred students might be happy enough to burn a mattress in Dinkytown.

College hockey doesn’t register nationally. There are 59 schools — and many are Division I only on the ice. That number could decline in the future, what with the WCHA being left as a collection of the orphans with the breakaway of the most prestigious programs to the Big Ten or the NCHC.

I asked this question of 10 local sports reporters with no agenda this week. What is more significant nationally: The Lynx winning the WNBA title or the Gophers winning the men’s hockey title?

Nine said “the Lynx’’ quickly. Mike Rand debated for a time before saying “Lynx.’’ There you have it.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Atlanta 7 FINAL
Pittsburgh 5
Miami 5 FINAL
St. Louis 3
Baltimore - LP: K. Gausman 4 FINAL
Detroit - WP: J. Nathan 6
Minnesota 4 FINAL
Boston 5
NY Yankees 5 FINAL
Tampa Bay 6
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
Toronto 4
Cincinnati 13 FINAL
Cleveland 2
Los Angeles 9 FINAL
Chicago WSox 6
Kansas City 3 FINAL
Seattle 0
Seattle 1 FINAL
Milwaukee 15
San Diego 3 FINAL
Arizona 3
Washington 3
LA Angels 8 FINAL
Chicago Cubs 4
Colorado 3 FINAL
Texas 6
Oakland 6 FINAL
San Francisco 4
Indiana 107 FINAL
Milwaukee 111
Pittsburgh 2 FINAL
Carolina 5
New Jersey 2 FINAL(OT)
Washington 3
Los Angeles 3 FINAL
NY Islanders 2
Arizona 4 FINAL(OT)
Buffalo 3
Anaheim 3 FINAL(OT)
Boston 2
Nashville 3 FINAL
Tampa Bay 2
San Jose 6 FINAL
Detroit 4
NY Rangers 5 FINAL
Ottawa 1
Florida 4 FINAL
Toronto 1
Montreal 2 FINAL
Winnipeg 5
Colorado 4 FINAL
Vancouver 1
Wichita State 70 FINAL
Notre Dame 81
North Carolina 72 FINAL
Wisconsin 79
Evansville 89 FINAL
Louisiana 82
West Virginia 39 FINAL
Kentucky 78
Xavier 60 FINAL
Arizona 68
St Johns 55 FINAL
Villanova 63
NC State 79 FINAL
Temple 80
Missouri 55 FINAL
Michigan 65
Oral Roberts 64 FINAL
Louisiana 65
Duquesne 39 FINAL
West Virginia 60
Ole Miss 70 FINAL
Middle Tennessee 82
Northern Colorado 60 FINAL
St Marys-CA 77 FINAL
Sacramento St 69
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: Who is your favorite team in the NCAA men's hockey tournament?

Weekly Question