UND's list of Stanley Cup champions keeps growing
UND may have made one mistake when it renovated its locker room inside Ralph Engelstad Arena four summers ago.
It may have picked the wrong place for the Stanley Cup tribute.
That particular wall is quickly running out of room.
Since 2010, no college hockey program has had as many Stanley Cup winners as UND.
That list of champions grew again last week as T.J. Oshie and Shane Gersich carried the Stanley Cup around T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Oshie played a key role for the Washington Capitals. He had 47 points in 74 regular-season games, but was especially clutch during the playoffs, where he had 21 points in 24 games. Oshie was one of the top scorers in the Stanley Cup Final.
Gersich played for UND this season, then signed with the Capitals in March—in time to get in on the playoff run. Gersich played in three regular-season games and two Stanley Cup Playoff games.
That's not enough to get his name engraved on the Cup—you have to play in 41 regular-season games or one Stanley Cup Final game or successfully petition the NHL—but he did skate around with it Thursday night and will get a ring as a member of the team.
Oshie and Gersich joined recent UND Stanley Cup winners in Carter Rowney of the Pittsburgh Penguins (2017), Matt Greene of the Los Angeles Kings (2012, 2014) and Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks (2010, 2013, 2015).
Only two of the last nine Stanley Cup-winning teams did not have a former UND player on the roster (Boston 2011, Pittsburgh 2016).
Since UND won the NCAA national championship in 1997, 16 of the 21 teams have had a Stanley Cup champ on the roster.
UND had to adjust its Stanley Cup wall last year to make room for Rowney's plaque and will have to do the same again this summer.
The Stanley Cup champions have come from all different paths from Toews, a top-three NHL draft pick, to Rowney, an undrafted free agent who was playing fourth-line center as a college sophomore.
UND's Cup winners have included Oshie, who did it in his 10th NHL season, and Gersich, who won it a couple of months into his pro career.
Many of those champions developed their skills by working with UND coaches in the mornings.
"I remember going out there in mornings pretty religiously with Osh and Jonny, shooting pucks, doing skills drills," UND associate coach Dane Jackson said of the former linemates. "What a difference in personality between them. Jonny was focused and serious. Osh was working hard, but so playful and always having fun, laughing and smiling.
"You could see a love in the game for both of them. You such saw a competitiveness, such a love to compete."
College Hockey Inc., keeps a running list of all of the players who have had their names engraved on the Cup.
UND ranks third, just two behind Boston College and Wisconsin.
If the recent trend of Stanley Cup champions continues, UND might be able to catch the Eagles and Badgers.
And it may need to find a new spot in the locker room for the Stanley Cup tribute.