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2012 College Hockey schedule: No. 4 Minnesota, No. 16 St. Cloud State and No. 18 Minnesota State hit holiday bye week

The No. 4 Minnesota Golden Gophers men's hockey team joined No. 16 St. Cloud State and No. 18 Minnesota State as local teams ranked in the USCHO top 25 heading into the holiday bye week.

Shaun Botterill

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.

See the full schedule of college hockey action here, and be sure to check out the complete USCHO.com poll.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.