PHILADELPHIA – Union College made history making it to
the Frozen Four championship game, but the team still has more playing left to
The Dutchmen will have to take on big-time program
Minnesota to win the national championship. But even though the Golden Gophers
are far more established than Union, the two teams are not that different.
It's not a mirror image, but Union and Minnesota do look
a lot alike.
“They got four lines that can play like us,” Union senior
forward Cole Ikkala said. “They've got a good goaltender like us, good
Minnesota junior forward Kyle Rau also compared both
“A lot of depth,” he said of Union. “That's a good match
up for us. We've got a lot of depth, too, so it should be a fun game.”
It will be tough to top Thursday's games. Union held off
Boston College in a nine-goal thriller, and Minnesota scored in the final
second to advance to the national championship game. Both teams are riding
emotional highs, but even the locker room messages mimic each other.
“These guys are probably getting sick of my too high, too
low speech,” Union head coach Rick Bennett said.
“Can't get too high or too low ourselves and right now it's
obviously a high point, so we have to keep ourselves in check and get ready to
play on Saturday,” Minnesota senior defenseman Justin Holl said.
And as Union learned during the opening rounds of the
NCAA Tournament, there are some benefits to playing a similar team.
“Providence was almost a mirror image of the systems we
play and the way we play, and we were able to find success against them, so
hopefully that might translate here,” Union senior defenseman Mat Bodie said.
“Just like Providence played arguably just like us, so
hopefully, it will be able to help us a little bit knowing what we're going to
face, and it'll be a good game,” he said.
Both teams will roll our four solid lines, and it'll be
about whichever team has better execution Saturday night. The puck drops at 7:30