Advertisement

Reliving Minnesota State’s trip to the NCAA Frozen Four

Published: Dec. 23, 2021 at 8:08 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 23, 2021 at 8:19 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — When looking back at the biggest moments in college hockey in 2021, the first thing that comes to mind is the NCAA Frozen Four.

Three Minnesota men’s college hockey teams were in contention for a national championship. Of course, the UMass Minutemen were the eventual champions, but what a statement that made for hockey in Minnesota.

RELIVING THE FROZEN FOUR

Mary Rominger: “More notably in the interest of this segment, the Maverick men’s hockey team make their first-ever appearance in the NCAA Frozen Four, reaching new heights under head coach Mike Hastings, Rob.”

Rob Clark: “That had to feel great for MSU to finally break through that barrier, get the NCAA tournament win. It was not looking great against Quinnipiac early, but the team found a way to win, big overtime W there. Then, to go on and beat Minnesota the way they did. 4-0. Had to feel really good for MSU to prove to the nation that they are a team capable of making a deep postseason run and also that it doesn’t matter if you have a bunch of NHL draft picks on your roster. Any team can make a run like that and it really matters how well the team is playing and how well the chemistry is and MSU did a great job of proving that last year. It’s obviously kind of drug into this season as the number-one team in the nation.”

MR: “And in the Frozen Four facing St. Cloud State in a 5-4 loss, just one goal, the team was climbing from behind that entire game, but once again showing that it could’ve gone either way which the way that postseason was going. One of my favorite moments from the entire postseason was the heartfelt storyline between Ryan Sandelin and his dad, head coach of Minnesota Duluth Scott Sandelin, both being in the postseason trying to lead their teams to success and Sandelin got that overtime win against Qunnipiac in the opening round and it really made for some great headlines.”

RC: “Would’ve been really cool if it was a Minnesota Duluth, Minnesota State national championship game, but there’s still time to do that, we could have that happen this year and I don’t think either of them would be too mad about that.”

CAN THIS YEAR’S TEAM RETURN AS CONTENDERS?

MR: “Despite losing some core pieces from last year’s team, from transfers this year to younger talent and the seasoned veterans, this team from top to bottom could potentially be a championship contender team once again. What do you think about what we’ve seen in this first half of the season for MSU and their chance to go as far or maybe even further than they did last year.”

RC: “We’ve talked about it at lengths so far, but depth depth depth. That’s the key for MSU and it doesn’t matter if they have injuries it’s next man up and that’s just the way this team has played, that’s the way they played last year and the transfers that they’re able to bring in, we’ve talked about it, last year Todd Burgess played a big role in that team going to the Frozen Four and again all the transfers they’ve brought in this year have been making impacts on the team. Right now, it’s just a matter of playing the games and going out and making it happen when it counts in the NCAA. Now Michigan, they’re right there at number two in the nation and they’re going to be a tough out come the NCAA tournament, obviously those guys did not get the chance to compete for the NCAA tournament last year because of COVID-19 protocols, so they’re going to be wanting to get back out there, they have all the NHL draft picks,, but as I said before it doesn’t matter if you have NHL draft picks, the Mavericks have proven with what they did last year that the best team is going to be able to make a deep run and obviously Minnesota found that out the hard way losing to MSU in the way that they did in round two of that NCAA tournament.”

MR: “Well it’s nice to relive historic moments in college hockey, but the story for this year’s teams is still being written.”

Copyright 2021 KEYC. All rights reserved.