College hockey team stranded during blizzard finds shelter in jail

Heavy snows in Minnesota made driving hazardous.

Credit: Andrew Link/The Rochester Post-Bulletin via Associated Press

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Heavy snows in Minnesota made driving hazardous.

Credit: Andrew Link/The Rochester Post-Bulletin via Associated Press

Credit: Andrew Link/The Rochester Post-Bulletin via Associated Press

A Minnesota college team got stranded during a blizzard Sunday and found an unusual place to take shelter -- at a county jail.

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The St. Cloud State University men's hockey team, ranked No. 1 in the Division I poll, was returning after winning the Penrose Cup in Omaha, Nebraska. The Huskies (23-4-3) shut out Nebraska-Omaha 5-0 Saturday to win the Cup and clinch the National Collegiate Hockey Conference regular-season title, the St. Cloud Times reported

The team's 6½-hour trip home turned into a 15-hour ordeal when the team was caught in a blizzard that had slammed into southwestern Minnesota, the Star Tribune reported.

“It looked pretty good for a while, but all of the sudden there was a drift right in front of us,’’ St. Cloud assistant coach Mike Gibbons told the newspaper. “We plowed through that.”

A larger drift down the road stopped the bus in Watonwan County, the Star Tribune reported.

“There was no way to go ahead and there was no way to go back,’’ Gibbons told the newpaper. “We were stuck.’’

While waiting for help to arrive, team members tried clearing the road with their hockey sticks, WCCO reported. That failed.

Sheriff’s deputies soon arrived and escorted the team to the Watonwan County Jail, where members were provided shelter and a hot meal, the television station reported.

"Boys enjoying county jail food," St. Cloud assistant coach Mike Gibbons tweeted. "Not making this up."

When conditions improved later Sunday, the team was able to return to the bus and go home, reaching St. Cloud shortly before midnight, the Star Tribune reported.

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