Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Michael Swanson '96 holds his daughter, Meara Gunderson, who holds a Drew-On-A-Stick sign touting the candidacy of Hobey Baker finalist Drew LeBlanc.
"We want another hat, boys," shouted 1450 AM KNSI broadcaster Don Lyons, the voice of men's Husky Hockey.
With those words began the most important pep rally in St. Cloud State history.
In a packed Atwood Ballroom men's Husky Hockey players and coaches greeted campus and community supporters, just minutes before the team's departure for the NCAA Men's Ice Hockey Championship, known as the Frozen Four.
The 25-15-1 Huskies earned a Midwest Regional Championship hat March 30-31 in Toledo, Ohio. Thursday Coach Bob Motzko '89 and the team begin a quest for a second hat, a hat that would declare St. Cloud State the nation's best college hockey team.
St. Cloud State (25-15-1) plays Quinnipiac University (29-7-5) 7 p.m. April 11 at the CONSOL Energy Center, Pittsburgh. With a win, the Huskies would play 6 p.m. CDT Saturday for the national title. Learn more about St. Cloud State at the Frozen Four.
Tuesday's pep rally featured music by the Husky Sports Band, T-shirt giveways by Husky Athletics and Drew-On-A-Stick signs promoting the candidacy of Hobey Baker Memorial Award finalist, Drew LeBlanc.
Hannah Muerhoff, Student Government president, told the players this was their moment, punctuating her call for a national title by reading the Herb Brooks locker room speech from the 2004 film "Miracle."
Heather Weems, director of Husky Athletics, praised fans who attend games at the National Hockey and Event Center (NHEC), notably those in the student-dominated Dog Pound that is Sections 108 and 109.
"The NHEC is a special place. It's a place where we have home-ice advantage," said Weems. "That is all of you, who have done that day in, and day out, week in, and week out. And this is your championship, as well."
Coach Bob Motzko returned to a theme he's discussed for weeks.
"This is a pretty good hockey team standing behind me," said Motzko. "More importantly, what I'm so proud of, is they're even better kids. You can be proud of this group behind me right now. They've been a joy to be around all season."
St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis '89, reminded the crowd that he typically uses the powers of his office to declare a day in honor of something or someone.
"I declared a week," Kleis shouted into the microphone. "This is SCSU Husky Hockey Week in the City of St. Cloud."
St. Cloud State University