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Gophers open NCAA Tournament against Omaha on Thursday

The eighth-ranked Minnesota men’s hockey team begins its bid for a sixth national title as it heads west to South Dakota for the NCAA Sioux Falls Regional. The Golden Gophers open the tournament against No. 3-seed and regional host Omaha, March 28 at 7:30 p.m. from the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center.

The other side of the bracket features No. 1 Boston University and No. 4 RIT.

The Maroon and Gold (22-10-5 overall) are led offensively by four players that eclipsed the 30-point mark in 2023-24 in Rhett Pitlick (35), Jimmy Snuggerud (34), Oliver Moore (33), and Bryce Brodzinski (32). Goaltender Justen Close has backstopped the team to the national tournament behind another stellar campaign with a 2.33 goals-against average, .923 save percentage, and four shutouts.

Minnesota is making its NCAA-record 41st all-time appearance at the postseason event after making its 23rd trip to the NCAA Frozen Four a season ago. The Gophers won twice at the NCAA Fargo Regional over Canisius and St. Cloud State before falling in overtime of the national championship game. The team’s win over Boston University in the 2023 Frozen Four in Tampa, Fla., was the program’s 61st all-time NCAA tournament victory, the most in college hockey history.

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