Column: Blackout of women’s national title game a travesty

David Nelson

A wave of gold jerseys swelled toward the Gophers’ net as the final buzzer sounded on the 2015 women’s NCAA hockey championship game.

The group of players eventually crashed onto junior goaltender Amanda Leveille in celebration of Minnesota’s third national title in four seasons.

The scene looked like something out of a feel-good sports movie, but it was a moment that wasn’t captured by a single television station.

Instead, those who wanted to see this sequence unfold but weren’t in Ridder Arena had to watch the game on a computer screen via NCAA.com.

Suffice it to say, the fact that not one television station picked this game up is pathetic.

It’s a travesty not only to those who played in the game and deserved to be seen but also for both Minnesota and Harvard fans who wanted to watch the teams play.

Currently, Turner Sports — which operates TruTV, TNT and TBS — owns the rights to broadcast this game.

On Sunday at 3 p.m., Turner Sports decided that Impractical Jokers, Hack My Life and the Fast and the Furious reruns, among other things, would all be more entertaining to an audience than watching some of the best women’s hockey players in the world.

More than that, Turner Sports missed an opportunity to broadcast a game that shattered an NCAA women’s ice hockey record.

The Gophers’ now six national championship victories are the most of any other Division I women’s college hockey
team.

Some people, though, weren’t as shaken up about the lack of TV time.

One person on Twitter even said he would “rather watch paint dry” than watch the best team in women’s college hockey go for its third title in four years.

Whether or not this man ended up grabbing his paintbrush is entirely speculation, but it’s a fact that the Gophers got cheated.

Gophers women’s hockey has been Minnesota’s best team over the last four years, but they certainly didn’t get treated like it.

The Gophers started this run in March 2012 when the team won its first championship under head coach Brad Frost.

At that same time, Tubby Smith and Pam Borton still coached here, the men’s hockey team played in the WCHA and the baseball team made its home at the Metrodome.

Yes, a lot can change in three years, but the success of the women’s hockey team has remained a constant.

Minnesota’s 4-1 victory over Harvard reminded everyone of that fact.

It’s just a shame this moment could only be seen through a computer screen.