While it won’t be an all-Minnesota affair, St. Cloud State will represent the Land of 10,000 Lakes in the NCAA Hockey national title game Saturday night in Pittsburgh.
To get to the finals, the Huskies upset Minnesota State Thursday; it was the first Frozen Four for the Mavericks and second-ever for SCSU.
The game was a 5-4 thriller, making Sixth District Rep. Tom Emmer happy and giving St. Cloud a chance for their first Division I national championship in any sport.
Despite losing their top scorer to a broken femur, the Huskies scored the game-winner on a miraculous deflection with less than a minute to play.
— NCAA Ice Hockey (@NCAAIceHockey) April 9, 2021
With another unlikely triumph, St. Cloud State continued to exceed expectations.
Picked for fourth in their conference before the season began, they finished in second place. Seeded second in Northeast Regional two weeks ago, the Huskies beat blue blood programs Boston University and Boston College by a combined 10-3 in Albany, N.Y., March 27-28.
Now they take on another Commonwealth school in the University of Massachusetts for all the marbles. The Minutemen skated by Minnesota-Duluth, 3-2, in overtime Thursday night.
The Bulldogs, who captured national titles in 2018 and 2019, had won nine straight NCAA tournament games before the heartbreaking defeat. Though UMD won’t be able to three-peat, a St. Cloud State win would still mark three consecutive national championships for the State of Hockey.
A.J. Kaufman is an Alpha News columnist. His work has appeared in the Baltimore Sun, Florida Sun-Sentinel, Indianapolis Star, Israel National News, Orange County Register, St. Cloud Times, Star-Tribune, and across AIM Media Midwest and the Internet. Kaufman previously worked as a school teacher and military historian.