Talk about your repeats. In an emotional, joyous pileup of maroon-and-gold jerseys on the ice, the amazing Minnesota Gophers women's hockey team celebrated another NCAA championship on Sunday.
Head coach Brad Frost nicely summed up the accomplishment: "We're just in the midst of a stretch here that's pretty mind-blowing.''
Frost's team scored a 3-1 victory over previously unbeaten Boston College in Durham, N.H., to earn its fourth title in five years. It was the sixth title for the U, making the Gophers the winningest team in women's college hockey history. In addition, the Gophers women took the title in 2000 — before the NCAA sanctioned women's hockey.
It's unfortunate that with all of the other March Madness going on, Gophers fans couldn't watch the big win on television. The game was streamed on the Internet, but not one of the numerous broadcast or cable networks carried it live. That should change in the future.
Those who attended or watched online witnessed terrific hockey and especially good games from the Gophers' two Amandas. Amanda Kessel scored the game-winning goal after returning to the team midseason. She had been out for a year and a half with concussion symptoms. And goalie Amanda Leveille ended her college career with a stellar 32-save performance.
The championship is a bright spot for a university athletic department that has suffered through scandal and leadership lapses in recent years. As the U begins its search for a new athletic director, we trust applicants will see the tradition of excellence in the women's hockey program and look to replicate it.
In the meantime, congratulations to Frost and his team. Thank you for making the "State of Hockey" proud.