A Historic Weekend for Beaver Hockey
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A full weekend is in store for the Beavers on and off the ice.
Minot, N.D. — The two game series against the University of Central Oklahoma on Friday and Saturday night at the Maysa is the perfect way to kick off the start of league play for the Beavers. From a historic banner raising on Saturday night, to alumni weekend activities, to the under rated and overzealous UCO Bronchos coming to town, this weekend has a lot in store for Minot State hockey. The Beavers are coming off a rest week due to Homecoming activities.
“Homecoming is a weekend for the guys to become best friends,” said MSU head coach Wade Regier. “It’s an opportunity for the guys to bond and more importantly an opportunity to support our other student athletes.”
With that being said, the young men of Beaver Hockey better have their work boots on. Central Oklahoma (4-1-0) is ranked 14th (2-0 at the time rankings were released) in the ACHA DI rankings, but split games (1-4, 5-0) with the ranked #3 and national championship finalist Lindenwood Lions. Earlier that week, the Bronchos upset the #5 Adrian College Bulldogs 3-2. By Friday night, the second rankings will be released and UCO is expected to move into the top 10. To add fuel to the fire, the Beavers put the Bronchos out of contention for the Murdoch Cup last year in the second round of nationals.
“UCO is a hard working group,” said Regier, “and they are determined to knock us off. If we’re not ready, they can knock us off real quick so we have to be ready to go.”
There are a couple of game day notes to keep in mind. This is the Bronchos first road trip of the season. It is a four game weekend for UCO, starting and ending with NDSU. However, this may end up being in the Bronchos favor when it comes to the match-up with the Beavers. UCO has done better in the second game in both two-game series so far this season.
“This is one of the biggest weekends we’ve ever had,” said Coach Regier. “We haven’t had the chance to really establish or prove we are the number one team in the country, so this is a great opportunity.”
Combined with having a couple weeks off, Friday night’s game will be a test of focus and hard work. However, Beaver sophomore defenseman Bob Pond feels the time off has helped the Beavers take a step forward in the game.
“I think [having a week off] will actually help us. To have a week off after the first set of games to kind of rehab anything that can be going on and fix any small issues, and it gives us a little bit of time to get ready for the big weekend coming up.”
There’s lots of excitement off the ice including alumni activities all weekend and the historic championship banner raising on Saturday night before puck drop. There are expected to be about 50-60 Beaver Hockey alumni present throughout the weekend.
“We’ve certainly had some dark times in our program,” said Regier. “Now our program has evolved into one of the elite programs in the country so we have our alumni to thank for laying the foundation with all those years of hard work to get to this point. [The banner raising] is going to be an exciting weekend to share with [the alumni] and with the community.”
The raising of the championship banner to the rafters is historic to the program because it is a memento to the general public of how far Beaver Hockey has come and how much they have achieved. The banner will forever be on display over center ice to anyone who walks into the Maysa.
“You can’t take things like this for granted because it may never happen again,” said Regier.
The staff of Minot State Hockey wants to remind fans to show up early on Saturday night. It’s a ceremony that the hockey community won’t want to be miss, not to mention a full game of quality hockey to follow. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m. both nights at the Maysa.
Media Relations Intern
Minot State Hockey