Minnesota’s Maverick Rivalries: A Historical Perspective

Minnesota State Mavericks

Minnesota State has a rich history when it comes to hockey. The Mavericks, who represent Minnesota State University, have been a prominent force in the college hockey world for decades. Over the years, they have faced off against numerous opponents, creating intense rivalries that have been revisited time and again. From bitter conference battles to national showdowns, the Mavericks have had their fair share of tough matchups. In this article, we will take a historical look at some of the most important matchups in Minnesota State’s hockey history.

The Early Days: Minnesota State vs. Minnesota-Duluth

In the early 1960s, Minnesota State’s hockey program was just beginning to take shape. The Mavericks joined the MIAC (Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) in 1961 and faced off against Minnesota-Duluth, a Division II team at the time, in their first ever game. The two teams quickly developed a rivalry, playing each other nearly every season for the next two decades.

The rivalry between the Mavericks and Bulldogs was fueled by the close proximity of the two schools, as well as their shared love for hockey. The teams often met in high-stakes games, with both sides eager to claim bragging rights over their neighboring rival. The intensity of the rivalry was felt both on and off the ice, with fans from both schools showing up in large numbers to support their team.

While the Mavericks have had their fair share of wins against the Bulldogs, it was Minnesota-Duluth who held the upper hand in the early years. However, in the 1980s, the Mavericks gained momentum and became a dominant force in their conference, winning several MIAC titles. This led to a power shift in the rivalry, with Minnesota State emerging as the stronger team.

Minnesota State vs. Minnesota: A Battle for State Supremacy

As the Mavericks’ program grew, so did their rivalry with the University of Minnesota, the state’s premier college hockey team. The two teams first met in 1963, and from then on, they have faced off nearly every season. This rivalry is one of the most storied in college hockey, dating back to the early days of Minnesota State’s program.

The Mavericks have been the underdogs in this rivalry for most of their history, as the Golden Gophers have a storied program with numerous national championships under their belt. However, the Mavericks have always given their all against their state rivals, producing many close and exciting games.

One of the most memorable matchups between these two teams took place in 1976 when Minnesota State stunned the Golden Gophers, handing them their first loss of the season. This was a significant moment for the Mavericks, as it was their first win against the powerhouse program, and it solidified their rivalry with the University of Minnesota.

Moving on to Division I: Minnesota State vs. St. Cloud State

In 1996, Minnesota State made the jump from Division II to Division I hockey, joining the WCHA (Western Collegiate Hockey Association). With this move, the Mavericks left behind their longstanding rivalries with Minnesota and Minnesota-Duluth and had to start anew in their new conference.

One of the first teams the Mavericks faced in this new chapter was St. Cloud State. This marked the beginning of another fierce rivalry for the Mavericks, one that continues to this day. While the two schools had played each other in the past, their rivalry truly took off once they became conference foes.

The rivalry between the Mavericks and the Huskies is known for its intense games and strong fan support from both sides. The teams have met in numerous playoffs and conference tournaments, with both sides leaving it all on the ice. The Mavericks have had their fair share of successes against St. Cloud State, including winning the first ever North Star College Cup in 2014.

Current Rivalries: Minnesota State vs. Denver and North Dakota

Since joining the WCHA, the Mavericks have formed rivalries with other teams in the conference as well. Most notably, their battles with the University of Denver and the University of North Dakota have become increasingly heated. Both of these teams have had success in recent years, making for some intense matchups against Minnesota State.

The rivalry with Denver is relatively new, as it began in 2013 when Denver joined the conference. However, the two teams have become fierce competitors, with their games often resulting in some nail-biting finishes. Meanwhile, the rivalry with North Dakota goes back further, with the two teams facing off against each other in their Division II days. This longstanding rivalry has only intensified since both teams have become powerhouses in Division I hockey.

Concluding concepts

The Minnesota State Mavericks have a long and storied history of intense rivalries that have shaped their program and created some unforgettable moments on the ice. From the early days of the MIAC to their current position as a top team in the WCHA, the Mavericks have never shied away from a tough matchup. As they continue to make their mark in college hockey, it will be interesting to see how these rivalries evolve and whether new ones will be added to the mix.


Minnesota State Mavericks,

college hockey,