Monday, March 28, 2011
SAN DIEGO I am a San Diego sports fan that is college-basketballed-out. Not only did the San Diego State Aztecs lose in the Sweet-16 of the NCAA tournament but the only other team for which I have any familial or sentimental attachment, Kansas, just got upset by VCU. So I’ve had enough of that. And my attentions have turned to the hockey tournament where the land of my birth seems headed toward ultimate victory.
The semifinal of the NCAA Hockey Tournament isn’t the Final Four it’s the Frozen Four. And the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux just crushed the University of Denver 6-1 to reach the Frozen Four. They have to beat Michigan to play for the championship but they’re favored to do that. The tournament's top seed, Yale, was ousted by the University of Minnesota Duluth in the second round so they’re out of it.
I was born in Grand Forks, ND and lived my first seven years there. Grand Forks is the home of UND and Sioux hockey and I played pee-wee hockey until my family moved away and I’ve not shot a puck since then. But on Sunday I took some kids to the Joan Kroc Center ice rink and wore my UND sweatshirt and a guy told me about the tournament.
There isn’t a lot of buzz about the Frozen Four in San Diego. But hockey is one of the great spectator sports and if you want to see the country’s best collegiate players you can catch the semifinals Thursday, April 7, on ESPN2. The final match is Saturday, April 9, on ESPN. It will be n(ice) to see.