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A Study in Maroon

5 April 2017

Tomorrow (or today, or perhaps sometime in the distant past, depending on when you read this), tUMD faces Harvard for the chance to play for a national championship. We’ve been here before together, folks. But it feels different, doesn’t it? Let’s compare and contrast.

Then: The tournament was in St. Paul.
Now: The tournament is in Chicago.

Then: I bought tickets months in advance, because it was in St. Paul, so I figured we’d go no matter what.
Now: I was offered tickets at face value by a friend during the regional, because I wasn’t going to go unless tUMD made it.

Then: I lived in St. Louis Park.
Now: I live in Duluth.

Then: I was a recent Augsburg grad.
Now: I am a semi-recent tUMD grad!

Then: We had beautiful weather!
Now: It’s cold, rainy, and all the outdoor festivities tomorrow have been canceled.

Then: I went with DA, my brother, the Aaaahj, my uncle, and Dirty.
Now: I am attending with DA, the Aaaahj, Biddy, Kleiner, and my uncle.

Then: tUMD was in the WCHA and no one had even heard of the NCHC.
Now: tUMD is in the NCHC and it owns.

Then: tUMD was captained by a very old Mike Montgomery, with two assistant captains with the same last name: Mike Connolly and Jack Connolly, a Duluth Marshall alumnus who resembled either Zac Brown or a grizzly bear.
Now: tUMD is captained by Dominic Toninato, a Duluth East alumnus who resembles a Teddy Graham, with a very old assistant captain Brendan Kotyk, and two assistant captains with the same first name: Karson Kuhlman and Carson Soucy.

Then: tUMD hit rock-bottom at mid-season when they were destroyed in the Amsoil Arena opener after a top defenceman defected to the pros after leaving for Team Canada’s WJC camp.
Now: tUMD had some minor ups and downs but stayed near the top of PWR essentially for the entire season. (I don’t really care to fact check that so I can say it definitively.)

Then: North Dakota was THE team for the entire season.
Now: DU and tUMD were THE teams for awhile and then Denver took that role over entirely in the second half.

Then: tUMD went out to Bridgeport for their regional and destroyed Union and Yale (the overall #1).
Now: tUMD went to Fargo for their regional as the overall #2 seed and had to go to overtime to beat THE Ohio State and Boston University.

Then: tUMD matched up against Notre Dame in the semis, and their conferencemates UND matched up against Michigan.
Now: tUMD, the Harvard of the Midwest, plays the Harvard of Harvard, Harvard. Their conferencemates, Denver (the overall #1) match up against Notre Dame.

Then: Kevin Pates was the beat writer for the Duluth News Tribune, and Bruce Ciskie was the “vox.”
Now: Matt Wellens is the DNT beat writer, but Bruce is still voxxing away.

Then: tUMD bleached their hair for the playoffs, and I followed suit. My hair basically disintegrated and took months to recover.
Now: tUMD has normal hair and so do I. Relatively speaking.

Then: I was a nervous wreck for the fortnight leading up to the tournament. I thought it was an impossible dream, and that if they didn’t win, they’d never have another chance.
Now: I’ve dissociated myself from the upcoming events and blithely carried on my day to day activities as though everything in the hockey world is not on the line come 5 pm. I know that tDogs have won it once, so they certainly can win it again. (By no means does this indicate I am overly confident, or even confident at all.)

Then: I wore my Mike Seidel game-worn gold jersey.
Now: I’ll be wearing my Mike Seidel game-worn gold jersey.

Then: The team had the potential to win any game in any situation, so why not win two in a row?
Now: The team has the potential to win any game in any situation, so why not win two in a row?

Let’s go Bulldogs!

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