In what has been a very topsy-turvy season, Saturday night all seemed right with the world. The Sioux beat Michigan Tech 4-3 Saturday night and finally got to hold the MacNaughton cup.
Watching the game Saturday night, I noticed Tech was a desperate team (obviously, season would be over after this game if they lost) and they were very very aggressive. The Sioux matched the intensity, but Tech got on the scoreboard first.
In the 2nd period, former Hobey Baker winner Ryan Duncan scored 3 goals in 3 minutes, 15 seconds, propelling the Sioux to a 3-1 lead. Hats rained down on the ice. For me, it was an incredible moment. Duncan is a kid who is overlooked every single year as a great player. He never gets kudos for his Hobey Baker award (99% of the hockey community thinks Eric Ehn was robbed) yet last night, Duncan put his team on his shoulders and carried them.
The Huskies brought it within a goal to close the 2nd period. In the 3rd period, Matt Frattin, a guy who has really impressed me all season, scored a nice wrister to make it 4-2. Tech scored again with 3:25 left and I'm sure every Sioux fan, including me, was thinking oh no, not again. But UND held their own and won the game.
After the handshakes and passing out the WCHA champion hats, the Sioux gathered at center ice. The lights were dimmed and a video started playing. The Wallflowers song Heroes playing in the background, the fans were treated to picture highlights of the Sioux season. Then the moment came that some of us have waited years for. Bruce McCloud handed the MacNaughton cup over to Ryan Duncan and the Sioux celebrated like they deserved to.
I'm sure they will enjoy this moment for quite a few days. But the task ahead is important. Friday night's game against either UMD or...the Gophers.
Thank you to Dirty for some of these pictures.