UMD Bulldogs Back Home After Winning 2019 NCAA Championship

Alejandra Palacios
Updated: April 14, 2019 10:13 PM

After winning the NCAA Championship Saturday, the UMD Bulldogs are finally home and continue to celebrate the big win. The team flew back to Duluth Sunday.

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"Just to say that we played on a Frozen Four is pretty special. And to say that we won two national championships is pretty insane. I couldn’t be happier,” Justin Richards, a forward for the UMD Bulldogs Hockey team, said.

On their flight back to Duluth, the Bulldogs were catching up on sleep and reminiscing on the big win that made them the champions of the 2019 Frozen Four.

"We kept on wanting more. It’s been like that all season. We knew there’s room for improvement. At the national championship game we played a heck of a game,” Riley Tufte, a forward for the UMD Bulldogs Hockey team, said.

Before hitting the ice at the championship game in Buffalo, New York, the team said they agreed on the goal of playing their best game, and that’s exactly what they did. Winning 3 to 0 against U-Mass.

"The biggest thing is holding that lead and not letting them come back and just keeping that foot on the gas pedal,” Tufte said.

And the hard work all season payed off. UMD now has three NCAA titles. Once the plane landed in Duluth, a police escort brought the team over to AMSOIL Arena, where they dropped off their gear before reuniting with family and friends.

The Bulldogs said their second straight NCAA title was accomplished thanks to their determination to defend their title and the unconditional support from fans.

"Last year was a little bit not expected as much from the outside world and this year I think we had high expectations for the whole season. To be able to get there again and to repeat, it hasn't been done in so long,” Parker Mackay, a forward for the UMD Bulldogs Hockey team, said.

"You see your family, you see your fans, and what it means to them and it means just as much to us. I feel like we have unbelievable fans,” Billy Exell, a forward for the UMD Bulldogs Hockey team, said.

The team said they are happy to be back home. After working hard all season, they're looking forward to celebrating the win with their loyal fans.

"We've had this goal set up. We've had ups and downs and to see it pay off and see everyone come together and how excited they are,” Exell said.

The UMD championship celebration is Tuesday at the UMD Romano Gym at 6 p.m.


Alejandra Palacios

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