Drawing comparisons

The Frozen Four (and, really, any big sporting event) always lends itself to comparisons and obscure records. USA Hockey’s Dave Fischer, the official press conference mediator, is always mentioning such stats, including some you’ve probably never considered before.

2011 0408 Duluth practice – Images by Candace Horgan

Take, for example, today’s gem: If the Bulldogs win Saturday night, Scott Sandelin will join Gino Gasparini and George Gwozdecky as the third coach with the same initials to win a Frozen Four (GG, SS … you get where this is going).

Some comparisons however, are drawn for reference, such as 2004, the last time the Bulldogs made the Frozen Four, and 1984, the last time they were in the finals.

Coach Scott Sandelin knows these games, and can look at them for knowledge.

“You know what’s scary? Last night when we were up 4-2, I thought about being up 3-1,” he said, referencing 2004 when his team was up 3-1 at the end of the second period on Denver before losing, 5-3. “I was talking with Clay Matvick and I hate those negative-type thinking, but again, we talked about, last night, closing out the game and we didn’t make any mention of that, but I think this team is similar but yet different. They’ve found ways to win and I think every year is a little bit different, but for me, I was a little nervous when that thought crept into my head.

“It was the same thing in ’04. Somebody had mentioned that we hadn’t lost a lead in 27 games going into the third period that year, and sure enough, we did. So I’m glad we got that out of the way against Bemidji earlier in the Final Five.”