Matt Wellens / Forum News Service
DULUTH — Scott Sandelin has coached Minnesota Duluth in four national championship games this decade, winning three. The Hibbing native, who just completed his 19th season as head of the Bulldogs, has yet to go back and watch any of those games in their entirety. Sandelin said Wednesday he’s only caught highlights and bits and pieces here and there of his previous wins in 2011 and 2018, and the loss in 2017. He doesn’t expect this year’s 3-0 national championship victory over Massachusetts last Saturday in Buffalo to be any different.
DULUTH -- Another Minnesota Duluth men’s hockey season is in the books, which means another Frozen Four has come and gone for ‘Bulldog Country’ as well. Those of us who follow the program are getting spoiled by all these Frozen Four trips. They’re all memorable experiences, whether the Bulldogs win the national championship or fall short. KeyBank Center in Buffalo, N.Y., was the third straight trip for UMD after United Center in Chicago in 2017 and Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul in 2018.
BUFFALO, N.Y. — For seven months, through 41 games, week in and week out, Minnesota Duluth coach Scott Sandelin has been harping on his team about putting together a complete 60-minute performance. Well, was that what you were looking for Saturday, Mr. Sandelin? “You’re damn right it was,” Sandelin said with a giant smile outside the locker room of the Buffalo Sabres following a 3-0 dismantling of Massachusetts in the NCAA championship game at KeyBank Center.
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- With 2:10 remaining in regulation Saturday, April 13, in the NCAA championship game at KeyBank Center, the University of Minnesota Duluth pep band blasted its fight song for the masses. Bulldogs fans weren’t singing along to the song, however. They were well into a chant that would continue until the final buzzer. “Back-to-back! Back-to-back!”
BUFFALO, N.Y. — Growing up in Cohasset, Minn., a young Hunter Shepard was a fan of the Minnesota Gophers. As an impressionable 7- and 8-year-old, he watched players such as Adam Hauser of Bovey, Gino Guyer and Andy Sertich of Coleraine and Travis Weber of Hibbing lead the Gophers to back-to-back national championships in 2002 at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul and in 2003 at then-HSBC Arena in Buffalo.
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Minnesota Duluth is heading back to the NCAA championship game for the third consecutive season, beating Providence 4-1 on Thursday, April 11, in the first of two Frozen Four semifinals at KeyBank Center. The defending national champion Bulldogs will try and become the first team to repeat as NCAA champions since Denver in 2004 and 2005 when they take on Massachusetts at 7 p.m. CT on Saturday in Buffalo.
DULUTH -- It was the day before Thanksgiving, and Minnesota Duluth freshman business major Andrew Dietrich was out hunting with his father, who he hadn’t seen in a couple months. Also a goaltender for the university’s club men’s hockey team, Dietrich received a phone call that day from a Duluth number he didn’t recognize, so he let it go to voicemail, not wanting to interrupt the day with his dad. The call was from Bulldogs assistant coach Adam Krause, who wanted to know if Dietrich wanted to try out for UMD’s NCAA Division I varsity program.
DULUTH -- The week has come. It’s here again. The Minnesota Duluth men’s hockey team is back in the NCAA Frozen Four for an unprecedented third consecutive spring. The defending national champions depart for Buffalo, N.Y., on Tuesday, April 9, and drop the puck against Providence at 4 p.m. Thursday at KeyBank Center. Bulldogs fans need to do something this week, however. I hope it’s not too much to ask. For the next week, forget about the team’s recruiting outlook for 2019-20 and beyond. Don’t worry about who is and isn’t planning to bolt for the NHL after this season.
ALLENTOWN, Pa. -- The most controversial time of the college hockey calendar has come and gone. I’m talking about the NCAA regional weekend. Every year followers of the sport argue about the format, the sites and the placement of teams. We mock the empty arenas and debate what’s fair and what’s not (looking at you Providence). We throw out our own biased solutions, no matter how uneducated or impractical they may be.
ALLENTOWN, Pa. — Quinnipiac’s Rand Pecknold is a coach that’s known to speak his mind. He doesn’t hold back, like on Saturday night after the Bobcats’ win when he decided to use his opening statement to critique the NCAA’s handling of the ice at regionals.