Between the Frozen Four’s final contest and the Broadway musical, Kinky Boots, the city of St. Paul was electric on Saturday. While the Xcel Energy Center hosted the D1 Hockey championship, a drag queen named Lola was taking over the nearby Ordway Theater.
To disagree with Rex Ryan’s presumed stance, that’s a little too much unusual sexual behavior involving a pair of shoes. On that note, how ‘bout those Bulldogs?
— NCAA Ice Hockey (@NCAAIceHockey) April 8, 2018
UMD’s path to victory started out when their Senior Captain, Karson Kuhlman (9:06, 1st Period), gave them the early lead. Less than 10 minutes later, his assist on Jared Thomas’ goal (18.39, 1st Period) gave the Bulldogs’ the always-dangerous two-goal lead. With Andrew Oglevie getting Notre Dame on the board (7:40 second), the 2-1 score held for 32:20 of ice time. In spite of the Irish pulling their goalie for the game’s final 95 seconds, Duluth didn’t even allow a shot on goal for that 1.5+ minutes.
In addition to last year’s runner-up finish, Saturday’s win for the University of Minnesota Duluth (“UMD”) marks the programs’ second national championship in eight seasons. As the Gophers’ enter the Bob Motzko era, Bulldogs’ coach Scott Sandelin has officially doubled down on his, and UMD’s, 2011 Frozen Four victory.
With both titles taking place at the Xcel, it proves that there really is no place like home. Obviously, that belief reigns even more true for a State of Hockey-based hockey team. Despite barely sneaking into the NCHC tournament’s 16-team field, UMD’s ability to rattle off four-straight wins puts them “on the map like never before.”
Speaking of being “on the map like never before,” shout-out to Kobe Roth:
— Hunter Hanowski (@HunterHanowski) April 8, 2018
— Spittin’ Chiclets (@spittinchiclets) April 8, 2018
For any Gopher, Beaver, Maverick, and Husky fans hoping that the Bulldogs success will be short-lived, for the sake of your loved ones, do not hold your breathe. While this article previously mentioned UMD’s 2017 runner-up finish, it failed to mention that 10 players from that team didn’t return (left for pros or graduated) for this season’s campaign. Because of that, most assumptions were that this would be a Bulldogs’ “rebuilding year.”
Regardless of their youthful roster (five freshman defenders for Saturday’s game), UMD has rightfully brought the college hockey crown back to the Land of 10K Lakes.
For die-hards of Minnesota’s other four D1 hockey programs, remember your bitterness associated with this moment. When UMD wins their next championship, I’ll be curious as to which one made you saltier.