As academic institutions around the nation pass through finals week and into the holiday season, Division I men's hockey teams get to enjoy a long break before returning to action after the Christmas holiday. The local teams have plenty to be joyous about, as well. The Minnesota Golden Gophers are ranked No. 4, while the St. Cloud State Huskies are No. 16 and the Minnesota State Mavericks are at No. 18. So, how did they do it?
The Gophers have built their 11-3-3 record on a foundation of strong home play, as they've managed to go 6-1-1 in Mariucci Arena. Meanwhile, St. Cloud State is an even more impressive 8-2 at home and Minnesota State is 6-2-1 on home ice. The focus in the second half of the season for each team should be to get better on the road, so it will be interesting to see how they respond after the break.