For the first time ever, the University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs are in the WCHA Final Five championship game. The Dogs are riding a wave of unbelievable goaltending, strong defense, and a bit of luck into a chance to actually lift a trophy.
Last night the Dogs took on the #1 seeded North Dakota Fighting Sioux, they beat them 3-0, and I finally made it down to the X for the first time this season.
We met up with some friends at Great Waters Brewing and hoped to find a good deal on tickets outside the arena. I thought alot of Gopher fans would be selling their tickets. To my surprise, all that were available outside were singles, and they were going for more than we were looking to pay. I’ll give Gopher fans props for still attending the game after they were knocked out of the tournament. We wound up buying tickets at the box office, which wasn’t really all that bad…we were able to avoid Ticketmaster’s ridiculous fees.
The Dogs capitalized on an early miscue by UND G Brad Eidsness on a UND powerplay when UMD cleared the puck and Eidsness went behind the net to stop it. He left it for a teammate, but UMD F MacGregor Sharp got to it first and snuck it into the net. Later the Dogs got another goal on a 4-on-4.
Alex Stalock – Clap Clap Clap Clap Clap
UMD’s goalie was again outstanding. He made several key saves when UND eventually got their game rolling. And he was also lucky. UND missed alot of opportunities where the puck would hop a stick or go off a skate.
The 2nd and 3rd periods were definitely tense for the outnumbered UMD fans at the X. Much as I love the Dogs, they always have had a tendency to become complacent and let a team back in. But it didn’t happen last night.
The key to the game after a long 5-minute major penalty called on UMD D Brady Lamb. UMD was able to kill the powerplay and got a ton of momentum and confidence for the rest of the game.
Our friends got us into their suite for the 2nd and 3rd periods. That was cool, because the seats were better than we had, and the beer was free! Definitely appreciate Paul for getting us in. Thanks buddy!
Every other fan in the suite were Sioux fans, and they were all crabby by the time we got there. They were very cordial to me, but you’d think UND was the worst team ever if you listened to their grumbling.
UMD v. Denver
The Broodmoor Trophy will go to either the Pioneers or the Bulldogs. UMD has never played well against Denver in my memory, and they knocked the Dogs out of the Frozen Four a few years ago. It will have to be another stellar defensive show if the Dogs want to win, and Stalock will again need to be good. If the Dogs can get the first goal again, I like our chances. I may just get to see my team hoist a trophy!