a melting heart


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This weekend was busy, as all of my weekend’s are. My usual routine takes up much of my weekend. And I love it. But with all the hockey games/tourney’s going on, my weekend’s have been beyond full (since February when MN girls’ hockey was at its peak). And I love it.

Friday behind us, with rather satisfactory Regional results (minus the UNO-MI game – how was that a goal?), I watched and listened in awe as the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux routed the RPI Engineers 6-0.

Only allowing 1 goal all weekend?! Holy moly, what a a goalie. Aaron Dell deserves all the titles and accolades thrown his way this season.

And…Brad Malone, Danny Kristo, Jason Gregoire, Brock Nelson, and the rest of the Sioux showed off their hockey skills all weekend long.

Last week, after the Final Five, I was less than happy about the Sioux’s second-consecutive Broadmoor win.

But. After this weekend, full of my normal routine and more hockey games on ESPNU/ESPN3.com than I can keep track of, I am here to say that my outlook has shifted.

Of course, I still kind of cheered against the Sioux yesterday. Mainly because I didn’t want DU to get chewed up and spit out – and the 6-1 score hardly tells the entire story – because the Pioneers are no slouch of a team.

But. Over the course of the weekend, I listened to some stories. On the players. And on one particular player for the Sioux. A player I didn’t really like all that much.

Until I heard his side of things. I listened with open ears and an open heart, because I believe in second chances. I believe in redeeming love. I believe in grace. I believe in mercy. And I believe that Hobey Baker candidate, Matt Frattin’s story melted my heart of ice.

As with many UND Fighting Sioux (the list is embarrassingly long), he’d had some off-ice run-ins with the law. Hakstol gave him the boot and he left the team. I remember being happy about that a few years back. And then I remember when he came back to the Sioux. I was less than thrilled. But now. After hearing his story, his character shining through, I’m rooting for him to succeed. It took guts to leave the team, work hard, and come back. To show that he had changed – that he was ready to conduct himself in a manner befitting a role-model college hockey player.

He’s a Hobey Finalist, and rightfully so.

My junior year of college, I gave a speech around this time of year, on Hobart Baker – a man of outstanding character. And based on my research of Hobey, I think he’d want Matt Frattin to win his award.

I may not be a full-fledged Sioux fan (yet…this whole Big Ten Conference has me re-evaluating some things) but now, I want the only-seeded-team-remaining-and-soon-to-lose-their-Indian-name-SIOUX to slaughter Red Berenson’s Wolverine’s in St. Paul.

And I want to see the UMD Bulldogs, who proved in their game against the Yale Bulldgos (the number 1 seed…), who was Top Dog, take down the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame – even though they’ve got some MN boys playing for them (Anders Lee of Edina and Ryan Guentzel of Hill-Murray).

Basically, I want a WCHA Final in the Frozen Four.

And if UND happens to win it all, good for them. For sticking it to the NCAA man who told them they couldn’t keep their Sioux name.

Guess I can now sing Sweet Caroline without feeling guilty.

____________________________________________________

I ask. You answer.

  1. Who were you pulling for in the Regionals?
  2. What are your hopes/predictions for the Frozen Four?
  3. Who has the best shot of winning the Hobey?
  4. Do you think the locations for the regional games were well-chosen?
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