Highway 2 Revisited
Bulldogs down Sioux as a rivalry is renewed
North Dakota 1
Schneider, D. Lundbohm
Czech, J. Francisco
Jake Brandt, 59:24, 25 saves, 2 GA
Isaac Reichmuth, 60:00, 31 saves, 1 GA
ND 4/8; MD 6/12
Plays: ND 0-3; ND 0-5
Minn. – U.S. Highway 2 runs from the Upper Peninsula of
Michigan all the way to Seattle. Its journey across all of the
nation’s time zones includes a route that takes travelers
through Duluth, Minn., and Grand Forks, N.D., which happen to
be the home of college hockey programs. Those programs, which
have been around for decades, just happened to meet in the WCHA
Final Five play-in game on Thursday.
For a few
minutes in the 2-1 Minnesota-Duluth win over North Dakota, Bulldogs
coach Scott Sandelin might have felt like he was on the wrong
bench. Not only did Sandelin serve as Dean Blais’ top assistant
coach for several years, he played for the Fighting Sioux in 1984,
when memorable playoff games between UMD and UND were not hard
to come by.
the Bulldogs and Sioux faced each other in the WCHA playoffs,
when it was decided by a two-game, total-goals series, played
at the home rink of the higher seed. The Bulldogs, having won
the league title, were to host NoDak in the second round, but
there was trouble. The DECC had been rented out for the boat show,
meaning the Bulldogs had to play a “home” series with
the Sioux at the old Mariucci Arena in Minneapolis.
crowds of Bulldog fans who had made the 160-mile trip, UMD won
8-1 and lost 5-4 (for a 12-6 win of the series) and claimed the
school's first WCHA playoff championship. A few weeks later, the
teams met again in Lake Placid in the Frozen Four semifinals,
with the Bulldogs winning 2-1 in overtime. Future Hobey Baker
winner Bill Watson – known as “Mooch” to his
friends – got the winner.
if Thursday’s game brought back any memories of that night
in Upstate New York, Sandelin broke into a big smirk and replied,
“Did Mooch tell you to ask that question?”
But if the
WCHA play-in game is the start of a renewed rivalry between the
Bulldogs and Sioux, it’s just fine with the coaches.
look at the games we played this year and there was a tie and
two one-goal wins by us,” said Sandelin. “That’s
great hockey. So if we can turn this back into a fun rivalry,
that’d be great.”
mentor who was 0-2-1 versus his pupil this year, agreed.
definitely a better team now with Scott there,” he said.
“I’m proud of the job he does, but we certainly still
want to win.”
the all-new Battle of Highway 2 could be a fun one next year and
in seasons to come. Call this one a rivalry reborn.
doesn't have much time off before it faces top-seeded Colorado
College at 2 p.m. CST Friday.
the guys, 'We're here to play hockey,'" Sandelin said. "This
is great because we don't have to wait around all day to play.
We're just going to get up, have breakfast and go play hockey."