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DULUTH—The University of Minnesota Duluth is not only the champion of NCAA Division I, the Bulldogs are now the 'it' team in college men's hockey. As the only team to win two national titles in the past eight years and the team that did it this season despite being the final at-large team selected for the 16-team NCAA field, UMD has all the factors pointing in its direction for continued success in the future.
ST. PAUL — No snow angels on the Xcel Energy Center ice were necessary this time. Unlike 2011, when Minnesota Duluth needed Kyle Schmidt's overtime game-winner and subsequent on-ice celebration to beat Michigan and secure the school's first NCAA men's hockey title, the Bulldogs outplayed Notre Dame from beginning to end in a 2-1 victory Saturday night before 18,303 mostly partisan UMD fans.
ST. PAUL — As a young hockey player, Louie Roehl begged to emulate his father and don goaltending pads. Dale Roehl was a standout goalie at Minnetonka High School and was drafted by the NHL's Philadelphia Flyers in 1987. Instead of testing the professional hockey waters, however, the elder Roehl played football at Minnesota Duluth where he was an award-winning strong safety. The younger Roehl begged his father the entire summer to play goalie at the Squirt level.
ST. PAUL — Mike Sertich was beloved during his 18 seasons as Minnesota Duluth men's hockey coach. "Sertie" ushered in the golden era of UMD hockey with back-to-back NCAA final four appearances in 1984-85, multiple Hobey Baker Award winners and player personalities that are fondly recalled decades later.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota Duluth's entry into the 2018 NCAA tournament came about only because Ohio State's overtime loss to Notre Dame in the Big Ten championship game allowed the Bulldogs to sneak past Minnesota as the final at-large team by one-ten thousandth of a computer ranking point. That means UMD coach Scott Sandelin, in a backward sort of way, has his former longtime assistant and current Buckeyes head man, Steve Rohlik, to thank for the Bulldogs' opportunity at a second national title.
ST. PAUL — Brothers Joey and Mikey Anderson played key roles in guiding Minnesota Duluth to the Frozen Four in their first season together with the Bulldogs men's hockey team. But the brothers' toughest foes may be each other during practice. UMD teammates were asked during Wednesday's pre-Frozen Four news conference at Xcel Energy Center which brother wins the most battles when going into the corner during practice. Understandably, the answers were mostly politically correct.
DULUTH—Unlike modern-day NFL players, Kyle Schmidt had no preconceived notion to perform a snow angel on the Xcel Energy Center ice seven years ago. But when you score the biggest goal in Minnesota Duluth men's hockey history, you're allowed some leeway. Schmidt, a senior wing from Hermantown, scored on Travis Oleksuk's no-look, behind-the-net pass to defeat Michigan 3-2 in overtime of the 2011 Frozen Four championship game, giving the Bulldogs their lone NCAA title.
DULUTH, Minn.—This marks Minnesota Duluth's sixth trip to the NCAA Division I Frozen Four men's tournament, with others coming in 1984, 1985, 2004, 2011 and 2017. The Bulldogs' lone title came in 2011, the last time the tournament was held at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. They reached the title game a year ago before losing to NCHC rival Denver. UMD is 5-4 in all Frozen Four games, including five that went to overtime. Here's a look back at previous tournaments: March 1984, Lake Placid, N.Y.
ST. PAUL — Duluth East had been here before. For the fourth time since the Greyhounds won their third high school boys hockey state championship 20 years ago, East left the ice following the title game with the runner-up trophy. Top-ranked Minnetonka held on for a 5-2 victory in the Class AA state tournament final Saturday night before 18,194 fans at Xcel Energy Center.
ST. PAUL—In the movie "D2: The Mighty Ducks," fictional character Russ Tyler uncorked his knucklepuck to beat Team Iceland. Frederick Paine doesn't have a name for the shot he used to beat Edina in the Class AA semifinals Friday night, March 9, but the Duluth East junior defenseman was just as successful with it as the Greyhounds defeated the Hornets 4-2 at the Minnesota high school boys hockey state tournament at Xcel Energy Center.