I’m finally able to say this…the University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs are the WCHA Final Five Champions!
UMD beat Denver University, a team they historically struggle against, 4-0 in Saturday’s championship game at Xcel Energy Center. They are the first team to win the Final Five having to play 3 games in 3 nights starting with the Thursday play in game. They earned an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament. They are on an unbelievable high and who knows how long they can ride it.
I wasn’t able to pay 100% attention unfortunately. My family and our cousins had a great idea to go to Buffalo Wild Wings to watch and baby girl was all riled up. I actually missed all 3 goals in the first 2 periods, looking up just in time to see the celebration. But trust me, I’m ok with it. I’m just too excited to care!
MacGregor Sharp had a hat trick and G Alex Stalock stopped all 20 shots he faced to secure the Broadmoor Trophy. Stalock was named tournament MVP (duh).
UMD got a nice break from the NCAA selection committee. They will play in the West regional, which is being played at Mariucci Arena at the U of Minnesota. They drew the #2 seed in the region and will play #3 Princeton Friday night. The other game is #1 Denver v. #4 Miami of Ohio. This will be UMD’s 1st appearance in the NCAA since 2004, when they made it to the national semifinal before losing to that infamous Denver Pioneers squad.
On a side note, Minnesota did not earn a spot in the tournament for the first time since 2000.
Look for more coverage on the NCAA tourney here later this week, including my bracket predictions!