It’s hard to think of a Frozen Four team — especially one in the championship game — as one that’s been “under the radar,” but in many respects, that’s exactly what the Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs have been.
Blame some of that on the general media’s supposed “Eastern bias,” and you can maybe even blame some of it on me, as I went back and forth this year on whether I thought Duluth had what it took to get to this point (note to self: that’s a yes), but the Bulldogs have gotten here relatively quietly, despite being the home state team.
Since the Bulldogs lost their No. 1 ranking earlier in the season, that’s how it’s been, according to coach Scott Sandelin.
“I think aside from earlier in the year when we were ranked No. 1, we’ve kind of gone under the radar a little bit,” he explained. ”That’s what happens when you have good teams in your league. North Dakota started to take off, Denver had a great year, [Nebraska-]Omaha had a great year, [Colorado College] really started coming on at the end of the year, and obviously all the teams throughout the country with the years that they had, so we kinda started sliding down.
“To some degree, that’s kind of how we are, maybe a little bit under the radar. I know going out to the regional, I know watching the selection show there was just a mention of who Union was playing — our guys got a laugh at that. We got out there and understandably both Yale and Union had tremendous years and we were playing out in their backyard, so we were OK with that. We’ve been a good road team all year, so it’s just kind of how it’s been and whether you talk about power plays like out in the region, we didn’t make that 24 percent cut which the other three teams had, all those things just fit into what we are. We haven’t been here a lot, we do have a strong tradition, we’ve had a lot of great players and we’re only in this Frozen Four for the fourth time.
“Not a lot of people may know about us, but hopefully they do now.”