The Gophers men’s hockey team announced Wednesday that the Mariucci Classic will return next season, this time with four Minnesota teams.
Bemidji State, Minnesota State Mankato and St. Cloud State will join the Gophers in the two-day event, scheduled for Dec. 28-29, 2019, at 3M Arena at Mariucci. The matchups will be announced at a later date.
These four schools, along with Minnesota Duluth — all once WCHA members — joined together from 2014-2017 for an annual four-team tournament called the North Star College Cup.
But that event, played at Xcel Energy Center each January, did not return this season, with organizers citing low attendance.
Next year’s event will be the 27th Mariucci Classic, but the first since December 2016 when the Gophers defeated Mercyhurst and Massachusetts to win their 14th title in the tournament. It is named after former Gopher and Hall of Fame member John Mariucci.
St. Cloud State and Minnesota State Mankato never have taken part in the Mariucci Classic. Bemidji State won it during the 2010-11 season in their second appearance.
This weekend, the Gophers, 3-1-3 in their past seven games, host Ferris State at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday in a nonconference series.