Record: 28-12-4 (19-7-2 WCHA, second)
Duluth's rise since Scott Sandelin arrived on campus in
2000 has been steady, but not in a tortoise-and-hare sort
of way. The Bulldogs' rapid rise under Sandelin saw his
teams jump from seven wins, to 13, to 22 last year in a
season that ended just shy of an NCAA Tournament berth.
had people in Northern Minnesota expecting good things from
the Bulldogs this season. A top four WCHA finish perhaps,
and a bid in the dance.
it would have been hard to dream up a season this special.
Even as they saluted the 20th anniversary of the 1984 team
that won the WCHA title and reached the national championship
game, Bulldog fans were watching Sandelin put together a
group with a chance to match – and perhaps even eclipse
– that group's accomplishments.
guided a team that was led by its five seniors, the first
group to spend all four years playing for Sandelin. There's
only one NHL draft pick on the roster, but Sandelin had
them matched up with the most talented clubs in the country.
Their first three games were one-goal losses at North Dakota
and Michigan State and a shootout loss to Boston College.
Fitting, however, that things began looking up with a two-game
sweep of Minnesota.
weekend the Bulldogs beat the Gophers for the fifth time
this season, a win that sent them to Boston. That victory
puts Sandelin, in just his fourth year as a head coach,
in reach of a national championship – something both
the tortoise and hare would agree was a far-fetched thought
four years ago.
more on Scott Sandelin and his wife, Wendy, check out Jess
Myers' feature, Reason to Cheer.