Union wins the title

Union won its first-ever national championship on Saturday night, downing Minnesota 7-4 in Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center. Union threw 49 shots on goal and 96 shot attempts at the Gophers.

The win completes a remarkable stretch of hockey for the Dutchmen, who went undefeated after January. Only once in about the last two months did an opponent come within a goal of Union — that was Boston College on Thursday (the Eagles scored with 4 seconds left to make it a one-goal game, too).

So, you won’t see many arguments that the Dutchmen weren’t the best team.

Shayne Gostisbehere put together a memorable performance in the final, scoring a goal, adding two assists and registering a ridiculous plus-7 rating.

A few final thoughts about the Frozen Four:

1. This was the seventh Frozen Four that I have covered and I thought that Wells Fargo Center was the worst venue of the group. It’s only four years older than the Xcel Energy Center, but it feels like it’s 20 years older. For the media, the facilities were really cramped. The building would massively fail fire codes. One person in the Herald group went in the staircase and got locked in and had to bang on the door until someone opened it. We also couldn’t get out of the building on the first day we were there. That’s not safe.

2. For spectators, Philly was probably a decent site. During off days, there’s plenty to do there. Lots of history. Lots of tourist attractions. Lots of food to try. Frozen Fest continues to be a success.

3. It was great to have Tim Hennessy back at this Frozen Four. When we found out that he wouldn’t be able to do the 2011 Frozen Four (read why here), immediately, things didn’t feel right at all. It felt a lot more normal this time to have him back broadcasting the game.

4. All three games were highly entertaining for the fans and the potential casual fans who were tuning in. It has been a while since we’ve had a Frozen Four that was this entertaining.

5. The makeup of Union’s team, I think, is pretty similar to what UND should look like next season: Prolific defensemen that lead the offense and veteran forwards.

40 thoughts on “Union wins the title

        • Good point! You are absolutely correct – except about the premadonna part. (I am guessing you have not spoken to a single player on the team. The young rebuilding Gophers deserved to play in the final game of the season. Pretty impressive and if you follow the game you probably did not see that coming seven months ago.

          This was a terrrific season for a very young Minnesota team that lost a lot of talent over the summer!

          • Dont let a goophs fan hear you say rebuilding……..to them its only reloading……didnt know you can miss the tourney three years straight and still be reloading……

  1. Great call on predicting the outcome of all four games at the FF. Union was a most deserving winner, with Gostibehere just an utter monster out there. What he did WITHOUT the puck was simply staggering, and it would be great to see an isolated video on him for the entire game. I’m certain he will step right into the playoffs for the Flyers. The Sioux WILL look like Union (with better goaltending) next year. Cant wait…. :-)

  2. I am really excited for next years team. It may still end up being a lunch pale group so to speak, and I think that is one of the reasons why I’m excited for next year. I love it. I am wondering if that is how we need to recruit going forward.

  3. To add a little to your comments re: the building.
    1) We arrived Sunday afternoon and bought tix for the Flyers-Sabres. Sat in section 217 and 217A (Sat in wrong seats 1st period). Very tight seats behind goal. It appears that Sections 204 to 210 and 216 to 222 were reconfigured to add seating, i. e., old standard seats removed and new skinny seats were installed. Good for Comcast bottom line, bad for customer backside.
    2) What does it say for the Flyer fans when concessions are told to pour all liquids, be it water, soda, or beer. Must have been a lot of bottle throwing in the past to require this procedure.
    3) Being here early allowed us to get the standard sites in town out of the way on Monday and hit Gettysburg on Tues and Valley Forge on Wed as well as incredibly bad baseball evening with the Phillies. Friday was battleship New Jersey day.
    4) Cheese steaks are OOOOKKKKK!!! At least a dozen steps above a big mac.

  4. The Sioux throttled the Gophers and deserved a better outcome. I think we really would have stacked up nicely against the Dutch. Too bad our fate is sunk into beating the crap out of teams and losing anyways (Even though Ferris State out shot us, I feel they really kept their shots too simple).

  5. In postgame interview the Union captain mentioned their sport psychologist really helped him focus for the game. Does UND have one on staff?

  6. Brad, thank you for a great year of keeping us in the know. Could you do a bit on who’s leaving UND hockey early? I heard that Gothberg is considering making the jump to the NHL. Would be nice for a run down on the team as far as who’s staying and who’s not.

  7. The Gopher fans were their usual classless selves chanting “F… the Sioux.” We couldn’t hear them where we were sitting, but the next day some Union fans commented to us. It makes you wonder when the fans in the Cities riot when the Gophers win and riot again when they lose.

    • Isn’t he the guy who had a goal and an assist to lead USA to a 3-1 win in the gold medal game of the U18s? Isn’t he the guy who scored two goals in the World Junior gold medal game? Last time that I asked you this, you didn’t answer. Guessing you won’t this time either.

      • Those games have nothing to do with the SIoux/gopher game on Thursday. Why would you even bring those games up in response to a statement about how someone thinks Grimaldi did or didn’t play last Thursday. That makes no sense. Are you really trying to say “well he played well in games 2 years ago so he must have played well on Thursday”.

        • Grimaldi played a great, lunch-pail-style hockey game against the goophers; i.e. exactly what Union used to win the championship (aside from Gostibehere’s other-wordly performance). If you knew anything about the sport, we wouldn’t be having this conversation…..

    • Greg, why do you keep posting inane commentary here? Cant find much fault with the gutsy, two-way effort Mr. Grimaldi et al put together in Philly. Tug up that tiny speedo, and get back in the dirty end of the pool where you belong…..

  8. Congrats to Union, they are a solid team top to bottom. Deserving champs. But I would have liked to see us match up against them.

  9. Brad, overtheboards.com rated this years freshman as the 3rd best incoming class in college hockey. They then went on to say that next years class could be the best in college hockey – EVER!! Can we get some info on these future Sioux!!

  10. Okay how is Dutchmen not the same as Sioux – it uses a group of people as a team icon – but really – what is the difference?

    • If you have to ask you would never understand. The school was founded by Dutch Reformers. The religion Teddy Roosevelt wanted to forget that he was a part of. He wanted to be a white nativist protestant instead.

      • “Dutchmen” is just fine in the Albany, NY area. Obviously the area was settled by Dutch immigrants and the heritage is celebrated in the area.

  11. With Gothberg being a 1992 birthdate, the age of some graduating seniors this year, is there a pending free agency issue with the Boston Bruins as he was drafted in 2010, then played two years in the USHL, now having four years completed since his draft?

  12. Brad – any comments on the average age of the Union team? I watched the game yesterday on DVR and the commentators mentioned the age of a couple of the Union players as 24 or 25. Just curious.

  13. Union – smaller enrollment and less NHL draft picks than Edina high school.

    Im thinking the Dutchmen should be renamed the Canuckmen

  14. Brad- most important question that to answer that I haven’t seen addressed: What Cheese Steak was best? Not that anyone else cares but here were my favorites in order:

    1. Sonny’s, liked this one so much I went back for a 2nd one a few days later
    2. Campo’s
    3. Not sure of the name of the place but I had a Pretzel Cheese Steak from a stand in the Reading Market, excellent!
    4. Pat’s (not even close to the ones above)
    5. Philly Gyro and Cheese Steak Co (it was in the airport, I was in a hurry on the way home)

    When given the option get them with Cheese Whiz, sounds crazy but wit whiz were the best…..

    The mussels at Monks were fantasic as well, Blue Cheese and Bacon was great but all were good.

    Great coverage, I surf around a lot of writers to see what’s going on in the NCHC and the country and your blog is one I never miss. Thanks!

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