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Postgame thoughts:

Maine came out a few minutes after the game and saluted their fans. A tough end to a great season that saw the Black Bears come up short again. Maine has made an impressive nine straight appearances in the NCAA Tournament, including six Frozen Four appearances over that span.

Nothing flashy from the Spartans, just a brand of good, solid hockey that’s gotten them this far. “They fought bhard,” said Maine coach Tim Whitehead after the game. “They battled every shift.”

Michigan State returns to the title game for the first time since 1987. Coach Rick Comley has been here since, making the championship game and winning at at the helm of Northern Michigan in 1991.

I wandered the main concourse between games and saw many familiar faces – fans that come year in and year out no matter the venue or the participants. Not much time in between games this year – the USCHO crew is busy at work recapping Game 1, with Game 2 about to begin.