UND MEN'S HOCKEY/NCAA WEST REGIONAL: Experiencing a tradition

ST. PAUL -- A special guest, and a very appropriate one for this season, joined the UND men's hockey team at dinner Thursday night in downtown St. Paul.


ST. PAUL -- A special guest, and a very appropriate one for this season, joined the UND men's hockey team at dinner Thursday night in downtown St. Paul.

Matt Henderson, who went from walk-on to 1997 Frozen Four most outstanding player, addressed a Sioux team that has pulled off a stunning second-half run with five walk-ons on the roster and not enough healthy bodies to fill out a full lineup.

Peter Armbrust, the captain of UND's 2000 national champion team, also joined the team at dinner.

"They both shared their experiences with national championships," walk-on freshman Stephane Pattyn said. "They shared the things you need to win a national championship. They said that they've come to a few games this year and they really like the way we play and how we have a lunch-box mentality. They said to work hard, give it our all and have fun."

UND captain Mario Lamoureux said he was well aware of Henderson and Armbrust's accomplishments while growing up in Grand Forks.


"It was pretty special for them to come in," Lamoureux said. "They told us what playing for UND is all about and what it has meant to them in their entire life and their family's life. Hopefully, those words will inspire the guys a little bit."

That may be especially true for the five players who are here without scholarships -- Pattyn, Connor Gaarder, Dan Senkbeil, Taylor Dickin and Tate Maris.

"For us, it's inspiring," Pattyn said. "I'm sure he worked hard throughout his whole college career to earn that. That's definitely something to look up to for us."

Andrew MacWilliam said it was good to have the former players around.

"It's a great story. It's something that a lot of guys on this team can relate to," he said. "The team as a whole. . . a lot of people might have counted us out earlier in the year. But we knew we had a good team."

Going with 17

Dickin, who has been out with a leg injury since Feb. 24, did not practice Friday and is unlikely to play in today's NCAA West Regional first-round game against Western Michigan University (12:30 p.m., Xcel Energy Center).

That will again leave UND with 17 skaters -- one fewer than needed to fill out a full roster.


It will mark the 13th time that the Sioux have had to play with fewer than 18 skaters this season. They are 10-2 in those games. UND played the entire Western Collegiate Hockey Association playoffs without a full lineup and went 5-0.

The last time UND had a healthy scratch this season was Dec. 11.

Short trip could be key

The Sioux traveled to St. Paul on Thursday via bus. It's the first time that they haven't had to fly to a regional since Grand Forks hosted one in 2006.

That could be a significant development being that 13 of the last 14 national champions have been able to drive to either the regional or the Frozen Four. The 2005 Denver team took two plane flights en route to its title.

The others were: 2011 Minnesota-Duluth (St. Paul Frozen Four), 2010 Boston College (Worcester, Mass., regional), 2009 Boston University (Manchester, N.H., regional), 2008 Boston College (Worcester regional), 2007 Michigan State (Grand Rapids, Mich., regional), 2006 Wisconsin (Green Bay, Wis., regional, Milwaukee Frozen Four), 2004 Denver (Colorado Springs, Colo., regional), 2003 Minnesota (Minneapolis regional), 2002 Minnesota (St. Paul Frozen Four), 2001 Boston College (Worcester regional), 2000 UND (Minneapolis regional), 1999 Maine (Worcester regional), 1998 Michigan (Ann Arbor, Mich., regional).

WMU takes in Minnesota

Western Michigan coach Andy Murray owns a home in Faribault, Minn., and did his best to give his team a Minnesota experience.


The team practiced Thursday in Faribault at Shattuck-St. Mary's, the prep school that produced NHL stars Jonathan Toews, Zach Parise and Sidney Crosby. Murray coached Shattuck for one year, leading the Sabres to a national championship in the late 1990s.

"I wanted my players to experience that," Murray said. "We went up to my cottage and had a lunch after that. We had to get Famous Dave's, because that's a Minnesota company. And then we took them to the Wild game and had dinner at Mancini's. We kind of did the whole Minnesota thing -- we had wild rice soup."


Lamoureux beat freshman Michael Parks in the finals of the team's weekly shootout. . . UND has won 15 consecutive games in March and is 22-2 in March in the last three seasons. . . UND is hosting a pregame party at Patrick McGovern's Pub beginning at 9:30 a.m. . . Former UND forward Mike Cichy transferred to Western Michigan after last season, but is unable to play this year due to transfer rules. "I don't know if he's going to make the trip or not, but it would be great to see him," Sioux junior Joe Gleason said. "He's a good friend of all of ours still. It would be fun to see him."

Reach Schlossman at (701) 780-1129; (800) 477-6572, ext. 129; or send e-mail to .

Schlossman has covered college hockey for the Grand Forks Herald since 2005. He has been recognized by the Associated Press Sports Editors as the top beat writer for the Herald's circulation division four times and the North Dakota sportswriter of the year once. He resides in Grand Forks. Reach him at
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