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.