Thirty years since winning the third of Minnesota’s five national championships, the 1979 Gopher men’s hockey team will be honored on the weekend of Feb. 6-7 when the Gophers host Wisconsin at Mariucci Arena.
The 1979 squad will be introduced between periods of Saturday’s game and will hold a social in the Mariucci Arena club room prior to the game.
Minnesota beat North Dakota 4-3 on March 23, 1979 in Detroit to win its third national title. The Gophers finished 32-11-1 in the final season under legendary coach Herb Brooks, winning all seven of their postseason games. It took 23 years for Minnesota to win another national championship until the 2002 squad captured the title.
Senior defenseman Bill Baker captained the 1979 squad and earned All-American honors after setting a then-school record for points by a defenseman with 12 goals and 42 assists for 54 points. Steve Christoff was the team’s leading scorer with 38 goals and 39 assists for 77 points. Don Micheletti totaled 36 goals and 36 assists for 72 points and Neal Broten had 21 goals and 50 assists for 71 points. Steve Janaszak played all but four goals in goal and finished with a 3.23 goals against average.
Members of the national championship team were: Joe Baker, Bill Baker, Bob Bergloff, Neal Broten, Steve Christoff, Brad Doshan, Michael Greeder, Tim Harrer, Kevin Hartzell, Steve Janaszak, Jim Jetland, Bart Larson, Rob McClanahan, John Meredith, Don Micheletti, Steve Pepper, Mike Ramsey, Eric Strobel, Jeff Teal, Dave Terwilliger, Steve Ulseth and Phil Verchota. Managers were Steve Tollund and Fred Field. The equipment manager was Buddy Kessel. The trainer was Mike Bell and student trainer was Jim Mulcahy. Coaches were Herb Brooks, Brad Buetow, John Perpich and Mike Foley.
The team set a then-school record with 231 goals, which now stands sixth all-time. Every player on the team hailed from the state of Minnesota and eight players were members of the 1980 U.S. “Miracle on Ice” team with Brooks as the head coach. Bill Baker, Broten, Christoff, Janaszak, McClanahan, Ramsey, Strobel and Verchota all captured gold in Lake Placid.
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