Mayor Emily Larson, Scott Sandelin, Karson Kuhlman headline UMD championship celebration
“Growth,” “dedication” and “unforgettable” were the words UMD Men’s Hockey Coach Scott Sandelin used to describe the team’s second national championship in program history during Tuesday's championship celebration at Amsoil Arena.
“The players grew, and grew together, since the beginning of our season,” Sandelin said. “We have came such a long way since day one.”
“I knew there were doubters heading into this season,” said UMD Head Men’s Hockey Coach Scott Sandelin. “Especially in the media,” said the now two-time Division 1 men’s hockey national championship winning coach. Needless to say, all the cameras in attendance were focused right on him.
Also in front of the lens was Mayor Emily Larson, who declared “April 10th, 2018 as Bulldog Hockey Championship Day in the City of Duluth,” in conjunction with team captain Karson Kuhlman.
“I, Mayor Emily Larson, mayor of the City of Duluth, officially proclaim April 10th, 2018 as Bulldog Hockey Champion Day in the city of Duluth,” said Larson. Mayor Larson also praised the team for their relentless defending and resilience.
“What a thrill it was last Saturday night to watch you bring it home,” Larson said with a glance to the Bulldogs sitting behind her. “It was truly amazing to see the city of Duluth represented in your tireless dedication and family approach.”
As for captain Kuhlman, he also couldn't say enough about the strength of the group he led.
“We earned every bit of that win last Saturday, and were proud to have done it in front of such a great atmosphere,” Kuhlman said.
Kuhlman also gave credit to the fans and support the Bulldogs have received in the last month and throughout the year.
“Thank you, the fans, for your tremendous support,” Kuhlman said. “Many people want to come here now, in no small part to you.”
Freshman Parker Mackay pointed towards what this program accomplished in 2011 when describing what this win meant for him.
“You come to Duluth and know they won the national championship in 2011,” Mackay said. “To be a part of what we did is so special, and now 2018 is another year where the Bulldogs are national champions. It’s so huge.”
Mackay didn’t forget the Bulldog’s loss last year while savoring this season’s win.
“Falling a little short last year and coming close made it unbelievable to accomplish what we did this year,” Mackay said. “I can't put it into words how it feels to be 2018 national champions.”