Three Gopher teams win conference titles

Gopher men's hockey players celebrate on ice with the Big Ten championship trophy.

Three more championship banners will soon be appearing in sporting venues around campus, as the Gophers have piled up conference titles in women’s hockey, men’s hockey, and women’s indoor track and field.

The amazing success started on Feb. 19, when the No. 1 Gopher women's hockey team defeated St. Thomas 7-1 at Ridder Arena to earn the program's 11th regular season conference title and clinch the No. 1 seed in the WCHA tournament. After starting the season 1-3, Minnesota finished with an overall record of 26-7-1—21-6-1 in the WCHA, the nation's premier conference. It’s the first conference title for Minnesota since 2018-19. 

After another sweep of St. Thomas in the first round of the conference tournament this past weekend, the Gophers advanced to the WCHA Final Faceoff and will face the University of Minnesota Duluth next weekend at Ridder Arena. 

In men’s hockey, the Golden Gophers trailed Michigan by two points in the Big Ten heading into this past weekend’s final games. While the Wolverines were being swept in two games by Notre Dame, the Gophers dominated Wisconsin 5-0 and 8-0 Friday and Saturday night in front of large crowds at 3M Arena at Mariucci. That gave Minnesota its fifth Big Ten title in the nine years of the “new” conference in hockey.

The No. 4 Gophers (23-11-0 overall, 18-6-0 in the Big Ten) have now won 28 regular-season conference championships in their 101-year history. They earned a bye with their first-place finish, will next play in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals on March 12.

And the Golden Gopher women's track and field team won its second straight Big Ten Indoor Championship on Saturday in Geneva, Ohio. The Gophers scored a total of 102 points to secure the title, holding off Ohio State, Penn State and Michigan. It was Minnesota's sixth indoor and ninth overall Big Ten championship in women's track and field.

The Gophers won the 4x400-meter relay for the second straight year in a time of 3:34.35 to secure to secure the victory over second-place Ohio State, which finished with 94 points. Next up, for those who have qualified, is the NCAA Indoor Championships March 11-12 in Birmingham.