April 12, 2017 11:01 PM
"This is the epitome," said Boston, MA native Bruce Haas said about the NCAA Frozen Four Tournament.
The journey getting to the tournament isn't an easy one.
"The total experience and obviously the hockey is top notch," Haas continued.
There's no greater feeling for both the teams and the fans when their team makes this tournament.
"Wow, I still can't believe that we're here," said UMD fan Sam Anderson. "It took a while to set in after they won the regional."
Over the course of four days fan flocked from all over the country to witness the top four hockey programs compete for a national title. Many of the fans visiting were not "newbies" traveling to this tournament.
"This is my 30th year in a row," said Thomas Bore traveling from Florida. "This is my 25th," his wife Diane Bore added.
The fans will do just about whatever it takes to get there.
"We were getting on our flight from Minneapolis and as we were getting ready to board they cancelled it," said UMD fan Jacob Kaliszewski. "So, we jumped in our truck and drove down," added Kaliszewski.
For the teams competing, it's all about winning at this point.
"I felt mostly relief and a lot of excitement because we get to stay here for another few days," said UMD fan Tori McMorrow following their win against Harvard in the semifinals. "Now we watch them play and go for the national championship."
Shooting to become champions. Even if coming up one goal short of their one goal all season, the tournament it about leaving a lasting impression for their program.
"We're the seniors on one of the best Bulldog teams in history. That doesn't really seem like it now, but it will eventually," said UMD senior defenseman Dan Molenaar. "It's just been an honor and a privilege to dress beside them for four years. It's been an honor to wear the Bulldog sweater and represent the city of Duluth."
It's also about saying thank you to their support group all season.
"I can't thank them enough for all their support," said UMD senior captain Dominic Toninato about his family attending the game in Chicago. "Not just the last four years, but my whole hockey career."
Hoping that their fans can hold out for another 357 days to show their support at next year's Frozen Four Tournament.
Updated: April 12, 2017 11:01 PM
Created: April 12, 2017 03:30 PM
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