SCSU Hockey Home After Day In Southern Minnesota Jail
The St. Cloud State men's hockey team spent their Sunday at the Watonwan Jail in southern Minnesota after their bus was unable to head home due to snow drifts.
The Huskies were returning home from Omaha, where they had just swept UNO in a two-game series to clinch the Penrose Cup. However, drifting snow stopped them in their tracks near St. James, Minnesota.
SCSU assistant coach Mike Gibbons live-tweeted the events of the day on his account @GibHockey.
"All of the sudden all of the roads in front of us just started shutting down," Gibbons said. "We were taking some sort of county road to get to Highway 15, then that was shut down."
"It was like a mile to get to Highway 15, the roads looked good but then there was a drift in front of us," Gibbons said. "We plowed through that drift, but then there was another drift and there was no way to get through it."
The Huskies tried to get inventive and shovel out the bus using their equipment to no avail.
"We didn't have hats, didn't have mittens and the snow was still blowing," Gibbons said. "So we abandoned that plan and called 911."
The sheriff's office initially told Gibbons that it would be "a while" before help could come. He estimates it took about two hours for the help to arrive.
They ended up following the plow about eight miles to St. James. There were no hotels available for the night, so they ended up at the county jail.
With no restaurants open due to the weather, the jail offered to feed the team with help from a local restaurant.
"The sheriff discussed staying in the Armory," Gibbons said. "He also said we could stay in the jail, but there weren't enough rooms for all the boys."
The roads cleared off as the night wore on, and eventually the Huskies bus was able to creep its way home.
"It's all a blur, it started at about seven in the morning," Gibbons said. "I think we made it home at 11 or 11:30 (at night)."
Gibbons said the team seemed to relish the time spent together during the snow, and says he didn't hear one player complain the entire time.
"It was really unbelievable," Gibbons said. "Jimmy Schuldt, our captain, said guys were just enjoying spending time with each other and that everyone had fun with it."
"I was kind of sad it was over," Gibbons said. "We have a special group of kids who really enjoy being with each other."