Monday, March 23, 2009

The Intensity Only Increases

To all ecstatic Bulldog fans like me out there: What a Weekend!!! Record making hockey was witnessed by many this past weekend. UMD became the first team to:

  1. Be the Play-in winner and win the Broadmoor Trophy,
  2. Beat UMTC in the Play-in game (they were 4-0 all time),
  3. Beat Denver for first loss ever at the Xcel in the Final Five (7-0 previous), and
  4. Record shutouts in the semi-final and final games.

Maybe more importantly, the wins not only propelled the Bulldogs into the NCAA Tourney, but it landed them a #2 seed in the West Regional in Minneapolis. The placement in Minnesota lends to a larger fan base and less travel, both of which should bode well for the Dogs.

Talk of the Town. Stalock was the talk of the Final Five and the whole country as noted on USCHO, “…while third-seeded Princeton will be matched against possibly college hockey’s hottest team, Minnesota-Duluth. The Bulldogs won the WCHA Championship on Saturday after winning three straight games at the Final Five riding the back of goaltender Alex Stalock, who allowed just one goal in the three wins.” Click here for full article. This team seems to live and die by defense and goaltending. It also seems to help when the team is the underdog as demonstrated by UMD being the only WCHA team with a winning record against NoDak this year and their dismal 0-5-1 against Anchorage. Stalock is most deserving of the MVP award. As I say to my defense when I coach football, “If they don’t score, we don’t lose.” But that could lead to a really long game now without ties. So where is this going? This time of year you need scoring too, and MacGregor Sharp was that guy. While Stalock shut out the opponent, Sharp provided the spark to make it count on the scoreboard. UMD needs to keep on scoring and spread it around as much as possible. I am sure that all teams are looking at film and plotting ways to keep Sharp tied up and holes in the Stalock wall.

Talk of the Town II. I know that they will be crossing the river from Saint Paul to Minneapolis this weekend, but as said earlier, being in Minnesota for the NCAA Regional is a big advantage. So get your tickets early…or wait until game time and buy them from some Gopher fans who jumped the gun, and get out to cheer on our Bulldogs!


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