Matt Wellens / Forum News Service
DULUTH — Scott Sandelin has coached Minnesota Duluth in four national championship games this decade, winning three. The Hibbing native, who just completed his 19th season as head of the Bulldogs, has yet to go back and watch any of those games in their entirety. Sandelin said Wednesday he’s only caught highlights and bits and pieces here and there of his previous wins in 2011 and 2018, and the loss in 2017. He doesn’t expect this year’s 3-0 national championship victory over Massachusetts last Saturday in Buffalo to be any different.
DULUTH -- Another Minnesota Duluth men’s hockey season is in the books, which means another Frozen Four has come and gone for ‘Bulldog Country’ as well. Those of us who follow the program are getting spoiled by all these Frozen Four trips. They’re all memorable experiences, whether the Bulldogs win the national championship or fall short. KeyBank Center in Buffalo, N.Y., was the third straight trip for UMD after United Center in Chicago in 2017 and Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul in 2018.
BUFFALO, N.Y. — For seven months, through 41 games, week in and week out, Minnesota Duluth coach Scott Sandelin has been harping on his team about putting together a complete 60-minute performance. Well, was that what you were looking for Saturday, Mr. Sandelin? “You’re damn right it was,” Sandelin said with a giant smile outside the locker room of the Buffalo Sabres following a 3-0 dismantling of Massachusetts in the NCAA championship game at KeyBank Center.
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- With 2:10 remaining in regulation Saturday, April 13, in the NCAA championship game at KeyBank Center, the University of Minnesota Duluth pep band blasted its fight song for the masses. Bulldogs fans weren’t singing along to the song, however. They were well into a chant that would continue until the final buzzer. “Back-to-back! Back-to-back!”
BUFFALO, N.Y. — Growing up in Cohasset, Minn., a young Hunter Shepard was a fan of the Minnesota Gophers. As an impressionable 7- and 8-year-old, he watched players such as Adam Hauser of Bovey, Gino Guyer and Andy Sertich of Coleraine and Travis Weber of Hibbing lead the Gophers to back-to-back national championships in 2002 at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul and in 2003 at then-HSBC Arena in Buffalo.
BUFFALO, N.Y. — On the eve of the 2019 NCAA Frozen Four, Providence coach Nate Leaman credited the adversity his team faced throughout the year for getting them to Buffalo this year. It’s why the Friars were able to come back from a three-goal deficit in the regional semifinals to beat top-seeded Minnesota State-Mankato.
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Minnesota Duluth is heading back to the NCAA championship game for the third consecutive season, beating Providence 4-1 on Thursday, April 11, in the first of two Frozen Four semifinals at KeyBank Center. The defending national champion Bulldogs will try and become the first team to repeat as NCAA champions since Denver in 2004 and 2005 when they take on Massachusetts at 7 p.m. CT on Saturday in Buffalo.
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- After two seasons apart, the Cates brothers of Stillwater, Minn. -- Jackson and Noah -- were reunited this fall as freshmen at Minnesota Duluth. In addition to being teammates again for the first time since Jackon was a senior and Noah was a junior with the Ponies at Stillwater High School, the brothers are also roommates. They even started the 2018-19 men’s hockey season as linemates.
DULUTH -- It’s impossible to talk about the 2017-18 NCAA champion Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs without mentioning the leadership of Karson Kuhlman. But when it comes time for Kuhlman to reminisce about his role as captain of that squad, it’s impossible for him not to praise his lone assistant, Parker Mackay. “He was so crucial to helping me out with the little things,” said Kuhlman, who now plays for the NHL’s Boston Bruins. “I knew I couldn’t get to everything. He was so good with those younger guys and they respect him so much. He did an excellent job last year.”
DULUTH -- When it comes to junior goaltender Hunter Shepard, Minnesota Duluth coach Scott Sandelin takes a hands-off approach “I never talk to him unless we’re talking about hunting,” said Sandelin, who has two reasons for his approach. The first is his volunteer goaltending coach, Brant Nicklin. “You see the job he’s done with our goalies,” Sandelin said. The second is because when it comes to players who are never satisfied, ones who are always striving to get better, Shepard is right at the top of the coach’s list.