Jan. 31, 2014
Gopher Hockey and the University of Minnesota will honor the 40th anniversary of Minnesota's 1974 national championship on Saturday during the Gophers' Big Ten matchup against Michigan State at Mariucci Arena.
Members of the 1974 national championship squad will sign autographs on the Mariucci Arena concourse from 6:15 to 6:45 prior to Saturday's 7:10 p.m. game with the team being honored on the ice at the start of the first intermission.
The first of Minnesota's five national championships, the 1974 NCAA title came to a culmination on March 16, 1974 at the Boston Garden in a 4-2 win over Michigan Tech as the legendary Herb Brooks guided the Gophers to the first of three national titles under the Hall of Fame coach. Moreover, Minnesota's 1974 squad was the first team consistently entirely of Americans to win the NCAA title in 25 years.
After starting the season 0-4-1, Minnesota put together a nine-game unbeaten streak to right the ship and eventually finished the final 16 home games at Williams Arena with a 13-1-2 record. Goalie Brad Shelstad - the last Gopher goaltender to captain the team - was named NCAA Championship and team Most Valuable Player after an outstanding senior season while Mike Polich led the team in scoring with 52 points, 19 goals and 33 assists.
In addition to the national championship, the 1974 Gophers posted a 22-11-6 overall record and won the Western Collegiate Hockey Association playoffs -- the first of three-straight WCHA playoff titles for the Gophers. The 1974 Frozen Four appearance also marked the first of three-straight Frozen Four trips for Minnesota with the team once again winning college hockey's top prize in 1976.
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