Wednesday, April 4, 2018

All the Way to the Frozen Four

Unlikely Return for UMD Makes This Frozen Four Sweet

Last year's Frozen Four was almost expected, though it didn't come easy. This year's Frozen Four is an unexpected surprise.

The story line is well known: seven seniors graduated and three underclassmen left for pro deals after the National Championship loss to Denver. 10 major players out of the lineup including five starting defensemen and the goaltender that played just shy of 90% of the games by minutes played.

Rebuild was on the minds of many fans. Maybe even those close tot he program, but this Bulldog coaching staff has proven that they are up to the task in a big way. They have taken an inexperienced team and built them up all year.

Evidence is plentiful, but just he improvement in the NCHC conference play says it all. At the Holiday Break, UMD was in seventh place just ahead of Omaha whom they had just split a series with. After the break in the NCHC UMD peeled off a 10-4-0 record to bolt into third place, host a first round series, and make it to the Frozen Faceoff for the third straight year.

Only nine current Bulldogs played in the 2017 Frozen Four.

All this leads us to say: not rebuild, but RELOAD.

UMD is in rarefied air making their program record fourth straight NCAA appearance and they look to make the most of it by crashing the B1G Ten party in St. Paul.

There is only one thing left for this group of upstarts to do but to win it all.

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