Nearly a week after the Sioux's season was ended by an extremely hot Michigan goaltender, I can finally talk about it and discuss what we as fans have learned.
It's very unfortunate what happened to this group of seniors and to this team. The heavy favorites entering the tournament, they didn't believe their own hype. The Sioux just wanted to take care of business and win the National Championship. As Hakstol said, losing never occurred to these guys as an option.
Why, then, did this team come up short when it seemed all the pieces were in place?
It's a weighted question.
The very simple answer is that it's an extremely difficult thing to win. Only 1 of 58 teams at the end of the season will claim the National Championship. At the beginning of any season, you can realistically pinpoint anywhere from 10-20 teams that will most likely be there at the end of the season. Certain teams like BC, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Michigan, BU, and Denver will always be in line to be there. Others, like UNH, Minnesota, Michigan State, Maine, CC, and Miami you can never count out. But every now and then, a Minnesota-Duluth comes along and runs the table, or an RIT steps up in a big way. Or Bemidji. The game is unpredictable, and as I've said for years now,
the parity in college hockey is closing.
Why then, could this amazing Sioux team, the best in recent memory and one of the great Sioux teams of all time, not close the deal, when the best teams in the past couple years (BC, BU, BC) were able to get it done?
I don't know.
There's no answer. None. 40 shots. Allowing only 20 shots, 11 of which were from the neutral zone. Banging the rebounds, playing tight defense. And yet, they fell short. You know what? Sometimes, there is no answer.
In the meantime, there's been some good news. Brad Malone signed with the Avs and I will look for him next year to make an impact with a young Avalanche team that is young and enjoys the college guys. Chay Genoway got picked up by the Minnesota Wild. The young guys coming in are very strong and should make their impacts felt right away.
And there's been some bad news. Apparently the Coyotes are interested in Hextall. I hope it's only interest and nothing more.
I know we've said this for way too long...but...
Wait 'til next year.