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Minnesota Hockey: First Game Vs. Notre Dame #TBT

Notre Dame is joining the Big Ten for Hockey ya'll!

From Mpls Tribune February 9, 1925
From Mpls Tribune February 9, 1925

Storied rivalry, Notre Dame and Minnesota. As a former WCHA opponent the two teams have faced each other 45 times (Gophers are 27-15-3). That's almost 4 times as many games as Minnesota has played Penn State! Keeping this post quasi historical let's look at their first match up from 1925.

1925 Gopher Hockey.

The Fighting Irish took the train into Minnesota early to get a couple games against St. Thomas before taking on the Gophers. The series was billed as the most exciting of the season. Minnesota was breaking in the new Minneapolis Arena (located at 2900 Dupont Ave, in Uptown, where the Rainbow Foods is today!), so fans were pumped.

Minneapolis Arena for a St. Paul vs Mpls game in 1925. Via MNHS.

The first game was on a Monday night (classic Big Ten scheduling). Minnesota's strongest player, only known by his awesome surname, Bros scored both goals as the Gophers won 2-0. On Tuesday night (the game started at 8 PM, so the Irish could catch a train), Notre Dame scored first. A second period "slugging" penalty on the Irish allowed Minnesota to notch 2 goals and win.

Interestingly the entire 1925 series may have been scheduled to try and hire Notre Dame's Hockey coach. Tom Lieb, a Minnesota native was a graduate student coaching the Hockey and Football team. While in town Minnesota interviewed and tried to lure Lieb to Dinkytown as an assistant Football coach. Sadly Minnesota did not offer enough money and Lieb went to coach the offensive line at Wisconsin.

Tom Lieb (and a lion!) later as head coach for Loyola Las Angeles.