As the Bemidji State University men's hockey opens play today at the Frozen Four, BSU students near and far will be cheering the Beavers on.
From the stands of the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., and back in Bemidji, students plan to show their support for the team.
"I think it's awesome that they made it," freshman Ryan Dooley said as he ate lunch Tuesday in BSU's student union. "Everyone's pretty excited about it."
He said he will likely watch today's game on a big screen in the Beaux Arts Ballroom at BSU's Hobson Memorial Union. Everyone is welcome.
The Beavers will play the RedHawks of Miami (Ohio) University in the opening game of the Frozen Four at 4 p.m..
The Beavers made history March 29 in the NCAA Division I hockey tournament as they defeated Cornell University 4-1 to clinch their first-ever appearance in the Frozen Four. The team also defeated Norte Dame 5-1 March 28 in the first round of the Midwest Regional.
After both games, junior Melissa Helgeson, a resident assistant in Birch Hall, said she heard cheering in the residence hall on the BSU campus.
"There's a lot of excitement in the dorms," she said, noting that gatherings to watch the game will be held throughout BSU's residence halls. "I'll be watching it on Thursday."
Junior Luke Schmitz also plans to watch the game in Bemidji. At the same time, some of his friends will cheer on the Beavers at the Verizon Center.
"Some of my fraternity brothers are going," he said.
He said Theta Tau Epsilon is bringing its bell to the game.
Meanwhile, freshman John Weimhamdl, who is traveling to Washington, D.C., on a Beaver Pride fan bus, said he is ecstatic about the team making it to the Frozen Four.
"Words can't describe it," he said.
Weimhamdl and his friends freshmen Cory Hoffstatter, Tom Stromback and Cody Baker decided on the night BSU defeated Cornell to make the trip to the Frozen Four.
"I'm looking forward to the games," noted Baker, adding that he is also looking forward to touring the nation's capital.
On the trip, Weimhamdl will be sporting a green cast on his arm that he broke last week in a dodgeball game. Why green?
For BSU, Weimhamdl said.