Seven years ago, the University of Minnesota Duluth and Notre Dame men’s hockey teams met in the frozen four. And I was there covering the game for the Duluth News Tribune. It was an incredible game that got off to a blistering start. Notre Dame scored 20 seconds into the game, but UMD scored the final two goals of the period to take a 3-2 lead into the first intermission. That lead would hold as UMD advanced to its first title game in over 20 years with a 4-3 victory.
Fast forward seven years and these two teams are meeting again at the same place, but with slightly higher stakes. The Bulldogs and Fighting Irish will meet Saturday evening in the championship game. UMD defeated Ohio State in the semis and Notre Dame took down Michigan. It’s UMD’s second appearance in a row in the title game after dropping a 3-2 decision in 2017 to Denver.
A lot has changed in seven years. I now have three kids instead of one. Two of my kids play hockey with one of them being a goalie and his coach being the goalie coach for the UMD men. Kinda crazy how a relatively short span of time can change your outlook and perspective on things even if almost everything appears the same on the hockey rink.