It's been a wild ride, to say the least. Looking at sole possession of 9th place, it was unfathomable to consider this Sioux team to even have a chance at home ice, let alone 1st place. But they somehow pulled it off.
On Saturday, after the Sioux swept the Huskies, I watched the team at center ice. Every single one of them was watching the video screen and seeing highlights of the season. It got me to thinking about some of my highlights of the season, and I decided to compile my own top 5 moments of the 2008-2009 Sioux Hockey Regular Season. There's a lot, but for me, these are my top moments of the season.
5. Sweeping the Gophers
In January, the Gophers and Sioux met up for a crucial series for both teams. UND showed up to play and pummeled the Gophers both nights. I'm sure this was a huge booster for the rest of the Sioux's season and a killer for the Gophers season.
4. Jones gets his first college goal
In his senior season, and having gone a ton of games without registering a goal, Zach Jones finally scored his first, on the powerplay against Harvard. What a moment. Sure he hasn't scored since, but that's ok.
3. Clinching the MacNaughton Cup
A hard fought game against Wisconsin, at the Kohl Center. Sioux are tied and seem content to play for it. Then VandeVelde gets the puck and puts it in, giving the Sioux a win and clinching the MacNaughton outright. It was truly a special moment, especially after so many people wrote the Sioux off.
2. Darcy Zajac scores in overtime to put the Sioux in 1st
CC had played hard all game. The game was in overtime. The Sioux were fighting for first place. When a 3 on 2 rush occured...Kozek fires the puck on Bachman who kicks out a rather large rebound that Zajac corraled and didn't miss. The Sioux were vaulted into sole possession of first place. I can't describe it as good as the video shows it though...watch
1. The Sioux sweep Michigan Tech and finally get to hold the MacNaughton Cup
It was a hard fought game. It almost had a feel to last year's Saturday night game, where Tech tied it up with 5 seconds left and then won it in overtime. But the Sioux held on to a 4-3 lead and finally got to skate with the MacNaughton cup for the first time since the 2004 season.
There you have it folks, my top 5 Sioux highlights of the year.
Runners up included Hextall drawing 47 penalty minutes by himself, George dancing on the dasher AGAIN, and Eidsness getting his first collegiate shutout.