1953: Michigan 7, Gophers 3
Colorado Springs • coach: John Mariucci
Eveleth native John Matchefts led the Wolverines to their third NCAA championship in a row. The Gophers led 2-1 after one period but gave up two goals in the second period and four more in the third.
1954: Rensselaer 5, Gophers 4 (OT)
Colorado Springs • coach: John Mariucci
Coming off an NCAA-record 14-1 semifinal victory over Boston College, the Gophers fell behind 3-0, took a 4-3 lead but gave up a tying goal with 3:50 left in regulation and the winner to Gordie Peterkin early in OT.
1971: Boston University 4, Gophers 2
Syracuse, N.Y. • coach: Glen Sonmor
At 14-17-1, these Gophers are the only team to have played for an NCAA title with a losing record. BU scored two goals in the first period and another in the second, and Dan Brady made 30 saves for the Terriers.
1974: Gophers 4, Michigan Tech 2
Boston • coach: Herb Brooks
In the program's 53rd season, a breakthrough victory, and it came by beating a Michigan Tech team that had swept the Gophers 5-2 and 4-1 two weeks earlier. The Gophers outshot their WCHA co-champions 35-22 and became the first team with a roster consisting only of Americans to win an NCAA title in 25 years.
1975: Michigan Tech 6, Gophers 1
St. Louis • coach: Herb Brooks
Michigan Tech avenged its loss from the previous year with its third and most recent national title. The Gophers were never in this one, giving up two goals in each period and not scoring until midway through the third.
1976: Gophers 6, Michigan Tech 4
Denver • coach: Herb Brooks
The third consecutive championship game between the WCHA rivals went to the Gophers, who — after beating BU in a brawl-marred semifinal — fell behind 3-0 only 11:31 into the game, rallied to take a lead, then got the game-winning goal in the third period from Pat Phippen, who also had three assists. Tom Vannelli had a goal and four assists.
1979: Gophers 4, North Dakota 3
Detroit • coach: Herb Brooks
North Dakota was the WCHA regular-season and tournament champion and had split four previous meetings with the Gophers. Joe Baker capped a three-goal first period by scoring with 38 seconds left, Neal Broten restored a two-goal Gophers lead early in the third and Steve Janaszak made 25 saves and earned tournament Most Outstanding Player honors.
1981: Wisconsin 6, Gophers 3
Duluth • coach: Brad Buetow
Yet another championship game between WCHA rivals, with the Badgers beating a Gophers team that outscored them 27-14 in winning three of four previous meetings. The Badgers scored the game's first four goals and outshot the Gophers 42-33.
1989: Harvard 4, Gophers 3 (OT)
St. Paul • coach: Doug Woog
The Gophers' second bid to win a championship in their home state also came up short. They scored power-play goals to erase deficits of 2-1 and 3-2, but Ed Krayer's backhander beat Robb Stauber for the Crimson's first NCAA title in any sport.
2002: Gophers 4, Maine 3 (OT)
St. Paul • coach: Don Lucia
A 23-year drought ended at newly built Xcel Energy Center, but it didn't come easily. Matt Koalska scored 6-on-5 with 52.4 seconds left to force overtime, and after Maine was called for a tripping penalty late in OT, Grant Potulny — the North Dakota native who would become a three-year Gophers captain — ended it by scoring on a rebound.
2003: Gophers 5, New Hampshire 1
Buffalo, N.Y. • coach: Don Lucia
Behind a big third period, the Gophers became the first repeat champion since Boston University in 1971-72. The score was tied 1-1 after two periods, but Thomas Vanek — a Sabres draft pick playing in his future NHL arena — broke the deadlock 8:14 into the third. Jon Waibel scored 3:11 later and Barry Tallackson scored twice to secure the program's fifth title.
2014: Union 7, Gophers 4
Philadelphia • coach: Don Lucia
The third title game under Lucia started out well, with the Gophers leading only 2:37 in. But Union scored three goals in a span of 2:54 late in the first period to turn a 2-1 deficit into a 4-2 lead, then put it away with three third-period goals for its first NCAA title.
2023: Quinnipiac 3, Gophers 2 (OT)
Tampa, Fla. • coach: Bob Motzko
For the third time, the Gophers lost a title game in overtime. This time, it came after they let a 2-0 lead slip away, giving up a tying goal with 2:47 left in regulation before surrendering a goal to Jacob Quillan only 10 seconds into OT.