For Dean Jorgenson, 58, a Northland native now living in Wayzata, Minn., this will be the 17th straight Frozen Four he's attended.
And they squeezed into the NCAA tournament only after Ohio State lost to Notre Dame in the Big Ten tournament title game, setting off a string of fortuitous events. Senior forward Dexter Dancs discussed how the team exceeded expectations and first-year head coach Mel Pearson showed appreciation for the two seniors, standing up and hugging Calderone and Dancs, who scored both of Michigan's goals Thursday, as they walked off the podium during the postgame news conference.
But the idea that the Bulldogs have won three tournament games as an underdog is not foreign.
But with five minutes to play, freshman forward Mike Pastujov slashed one past Morris to tie the game at three.
"I felt like my ankle broke", Tufte said.
"It seemed like all the Minnesota fans came together and wanted UMD to win it", he said. When we're down one, down two or getting a late goal, we're a calm team. "Because I remember in 2011 when we came out, the building was electric".
The Bulldogs have the most recent national championship of this football-defined quartet, in this building in fact. Jorgenson said he'd be nervous if that was the scenario again.
"I've never been so nervous at a sporting event in my life".
Xcel Energy Center sounded a lot like Amsoil Arena on Thursday night as the Bulldogs benefited from a home-state crowd. Let us know in the comments. "My energy will always be a little low; but I've kind of gotten used to it".
Ohio State had more than a handful of good looks that night, but nothing looked better than what stood before senior wing David Gust in overtime. "He made a reference to his grandson playing and I asked him which player was his grandson". Minnesota-Duluth beat Ohio State, 2-1, in the first semifinal.
With Michigan's Joseph Cecconi in the penalty box for holding, Andrew Oglevie's wrist shot through traffic from the right circle beat shielded goaltender Lavigne to cut the Irish's deficit in half just nine seconds into their man advantage. I'm still on a steady stream of drugs, but I feel decent most days.
Clusiau said she and her whole family were headed back to St. Paul for the Frozen Four this week.
"Honestly, I knew it was coming close to the end, and I was pretty exhausted, but I saw Cam [Morrison] flying down... and he's got really good speed, so I knew he was going to try and make a play, so I thought why not get one more shot", said Evans, on his game-winning tally. "The guys are looking at it like just another hockey game".
"You hear them say this was the best year for them, well it's up there for me too", he said. The hockey gods themselves seemed to ensure the puck didn't find twine, instead sending it all the way across the goalmouth and past the left post.
But when his aunt and uncle asked if he or his brothers wanted to tag along to the championship game because they had an extra ticket, he made a decision to go.
"Knowing nothing about hockey, my aunt and uncle taught me the rules as the game went on, and explained that my aunt had attended UMD", he said.
"It's good for me, because when you only see 20-25 shots a game it's easy to stay fresh". "There's a lot more value to him than goals and assists, even though they all want more".
They persisted as they have all season, scrapping for another tight win in a run so surprising, Sandelin hesitated as he tried to describe his return to the national title game with his young team.