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College Hockey:
More ‘best hockey’ as North Dakota’s Final Five winning streak reaches seven

— The only other team to do it is a team is a former and future member of the WCHA. The team: Northern Michigan. The “It:” winning six consecutive games at the WCHA Final Five.

When North Dakota beat Minnesota 6-3 in Friday’s semifinals at the Xcel Energy Center, the Sioux made it seven straight Final Five victories.

“Our coaches emphasize playing our best hockey at this time of the year,” said UND captain Mario Lamoureux. “It gets embedded in our mind.”

UND advanced to the WCHA championship game, where it will face Denver at 7 p.m. CDT Saturday in a rematch of the 2011 championship game, which the Sioux won in double overtime.

UND last lost in the Final Five when Minnesota-Duluth beat them in the 2009 semifinals. Since then, the Sioux won three straight games against UMD, Denver and St. Cloud State to claim the 2010 championship. UND beat Colorado College and Denver to win it in 2011.

“This is a special tournament,” said UND coach Dave Hakstol. “We fight real hard to get here and once you get here you go day by day to play the next night, and the goal is to eventually play for the title. We have that opportunity now and we’re going to make the most of it.”

The Sioux opened their run this year by beating St. Cloud State 4-1 in Thursday’s quarterfinals and then knocked off the Gophers on Friday. With each goal the Gophers scored to build a 3-0 lead in the second period, Minnesota fans made the Xcel Energy Center sound like Mariucci East.

But as the Sioux mounted their comeback, UND’s fans took over the arena, just like they did the past two years when they didn’t have to share the capacity with as many Gophers fans because of Minnesota’s tournament hiatus.

“What helps us out a lot is the fan support we have down here,” Lamoureux said. “Everywhere we go in the nation, we have fans. It gives everyone shivers down their spine when they hear that ‘Sioux’ chant at the end of the anthem.”

Added Hakstol: “Our fans are a huge part of this. They’re probably the one boost and influence we have from the external side. Everything else comes from inside that locker room.”


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  • B.D.

    Boy, this UND team just never quits.  Besides having a thin bench due to injury and a tough start to the season this team has just gotten better and better in spite of all the challenges.

    Those still able to take the ice truly deserve all the accolades they receive.

  • 440fied

    awesome gritty performance by the Sioux!
    Very tough loss for the Gophers!

  • MK Reid

    Hoping to see the SIoux down here in Tampa! Lot of heart on this team…way to persevere.

  • STLSiouxFan

    Truly a game for the ages last night in WCHA Frozen Five semi (UMN vs UND)!  A tale of Two Games! Fighting Sioux are on a mission, once again! Going for that 3rd straight Broadmoor tonight, then on to their quest to get to Tampa! Sure proud of my Sioux!!!  GO SIOUX!!!

  • Arcticman

    Hmm…no Gopher fan comments. Go figure.

    • patrickolson

      What is there to say that hasn’t already been said. The Gophers mailed it in the third period. Dell is the only reason the game wasn’t 8-0 by then, so UND had a chance to come back and they did. Kudos to them for making the comeback. Tough loss for the Gophers, they had the game in hand for 40 minutes. 

      If you are trying to bait some snarky “sue suck” comments out of gopher fans, you are no better than they are when that happens.

      • Arcticman

        I pray you find peace within patrickolson as I was making a simple observation.  Paranoia will destroy ya.  You have the decency to recognize a hard loss however Dell wasn’t the “only reason” the game was 8-0, which I believe is an oversimplification.  With any luck we will meet you on again Sunday.

        • patrickolson

          fair enough arcticman. I think it was the “go figure” comment that got my dander up :) Dell played great, he made some awesome saves that kept the game close. I suppose the other reason is some of the gophers inability to hit the broad side of a barn sometimes. 

          In either case, I would much rather talk about those aspects of a Sioux/Gopher game than all the other crap that usually populates these threads. 

          Best of luck to UND. If the Gophers can’t win the title I will be rooting for whoever from the WCHA is in it, including UND.

  • Siouxper Fan

    For 2-1/2 periods I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with the green jerseys.  They were either on their heels, or the Goofers were just that much faster.   One shot on goal in a period?  Are you kidding me?

    Then, that first light of the lamp.   Oh oh…..  Badda Bing, Badda Bang, Badda Boom!  So quickly was it tied up.  So quickly, even more, was it 6-3.  I’ve never screamed  ”GOAL” so loud before.    Wow, was that a momentum change if I’ve ever saw it.

    That beer is going to taste great when I collect them on some bets!!

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