Grantland Visits the Gophers

Katie Baker of checks in on the Minnesota-Wisconsin rivalry in a great look at college hockey.

With the NHL season in limbo, Grantland writer Katie Baker went where hockey endures - Minnesota - to check in on one of college hockey's best rivalries.

The result is a fantastic piece of journalism that excels as an introduction to the sport, or a closer look for dedicated fans. Baker introduces readers to Minnesota's Nick Bjugstad, Wisconsin's Nic Kerdiles, the passionate fanbases, each program's tradition of excellence and the promise of the future:

It's perks like [Wisconsin's new practice rink] — not just the locker rooms, but the history, the reputation, the growing esteem among NHL general managers and coaches — that has helped attract some of the USA's top young players to go the route of NCAA hockey. And that's why, as the NHL lockout hit its second month and counting, I went to Minnesota to watch two of the NCAA's signature teams play.

Baker produced nearly 5,000 words in what is as close to a definitive piece of college hockey writing as has been produced in recent memory.

Edit: Baker did not play college hockey herself, as this article originally stated.

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