Neighborhood rivalries will live on, pledges Bob Motzko in advance of Gophers-Huskies series

BleedGopher

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per Jess:

Prior to any given Minnesota Gophers hockey series, when you ask the coach and players about their opponent, you are likely to get a few nice words about how they are a formidable foe, but the team in maroon and gold is focused on itself and what it needs to do to be successful.

There is clearly an exception made when Gophers coach Bob Motzko considers facing St. Cloud State – the school where he played college hockey, earned his degree, got his first assistant coaching job and ran the Huskies program for 13 seasons.

“I spent a lifetime there. That place afforded me a whole lot of great opportunities. I’m forever grateful for my time there,” Motzko said following his team’s practice on Thursday, admitting that this week he has heard from more than one skater he recruited to wear the red and black of the Huskies. “It’s been fun. Old players are reaching out to me and giving it to me, but I love it. It means they’re following, which I like.”

With future Gophers schedules up in the air, and no set contract to play the Huskies in the future, there is concern among some fans of both teams that this neighborhood rivalry could go away. Motzko put those fears to rest as best he could, offering assurances that Gophers games versus the five other in-state programs, and a neighbor on the other side of the Red River, will continue.

“Our North Dakota contract’s not done, our Duluth contract’s not done. We’re going to have contracts with both of those schools and then we do have a contract with St. Thomas now,” he said. “We have a problem here. We have a lot of teams that want to play us and we don’t have a lot of dates.”


Go Gophers!!
 

When ASU is inevitably added to the Big Ten, you will lose four more games to schedule against local rivals and others.

14 Home Big Ten
14 Away Big Ten
Only 6 remaining games to work with

That is going to be tough for the ticket office, and it will now be extremely unlikely to see teams like DU/CC/MTU/NMU/Omaha/BC/BU and so on come to Mariucci.

You will get a mix of UND/UMD/SCSU/Mankato/UST and to a lesser extent Bemijdi and Augustana for at least four (many times all six) of those non-conf games every year. You'll see a lot of home and homes against UMD/SCSU/Mankato/UST, which I'm a fan of.
 

When ASU is inevitably added to the Big Ten, you will lose four more games to schedule against local rivals and others.

14 Home Big Ten
14 Away Big Ten
Only 6 remaining games to work with

That is going to be tough for the ticket office, and it will now be extremely unlikely to see teams like DU/CC/MTU/NMU/Omaha/BC/BU and so on come to Mariucci.

You will get a mix of UND/UMD/SCSU/Mankato/UST and to a lesser extent Bemijdi and Augustana for at least four (many times all six) of those non-conf games every year. You'll see a lot of home and homes against UMD/SCSU/Mankato/UST, which I'm a fan of.
Damn I'm really going to miss those Nothern Michigan games!

Jokes aside I do kind of agree. I really want us to play an occasional series with Denver, as those were some of my favorite WCHA games back in the day, but it's hard to see how that can fit in the schedule.
 

Damn I'm really going to miss those Nothern Michigan games!

Jokes aside I do kind of agree. I really want us to play an occasional series with Denver, as those were some of my favorite WCHA games back in the day, but it's hard to see how that can fit in the schedule.
Maybe you aren't aware, but a fan favorite former Gopher coaches there and that's why many fans would like to see them visit.

I don't care about NMU.
 

Maybe you aren't aware, but a fan favorite former Gopher coaches there and that's why many fans would like to see them visit.

I don't care about NMU.
I am aware of that, I was just making a joke. I hope Potulny thrives there and ends up as Bob's successor when he calls it quits.
 


Also, I don't have that much of a desire to play St. Thomas right now. Basically all of the teams Bonin listed would be higher on my wish list for a non-conference series.
 

St Thomas will be a bigger rival than PSU/OSU/MSU/ASU by the end of this decade when they've had a chance to get going.
 

St Thomas will be a bigger rival than PSU/OSU/MSU/ASU by the end of this decade when they've had a chance to get going.
Sure, but in terms of non-conference scheduling, I'd rather play any of the other MN teams, UND (obviously), Denver, CC, BU, BC, Maine, New Hampshire, Harvard, Michigan Tech, and probably some others I'm forgetting to name. We don't have history with St. Thomas nor are they really a relevant program on the national stage at the moment. That could change, but for now a UST series doesn't do much for me.
 

nor are they really a relevant program on the national stage at the moment. That could change, but for now a UST series doesn't do much for me.
You want at least one series against a team you will most likely beat up on, especially near the start of the year. UST will fill that role for a few years as they get started.
 



If only they could hold a tournament over Christmas with Minnesota and then the revolving other Minnesota colleges and universities. They could hold it at the X and call it something cool like the North Star Cup.

Oh wait that was tried and it was a disaster.

Plus as it’s been mentioned they are almost always going to make a trip out east for a series.
 




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