Saturday, November 29, 2008


I wear my UMD hat proudly. I got to go to a couple UMD football home games this year when my schedule didn't conflict. I have thoroughly enjoyed being around the UMD athletic program all these years, and I'll admit my biases without apologies.

I'll also admit that I didn't think UMD stood a great chance of winning Saturday in Allendale, Michigan. Grand Valley State is the 800-pound gorilla of Division II football. They have four national championships in the last six years.

Er, make that "seven".

UMD didn't care about that tradition and reputation. They just wanted to show that the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference can field some good football teams, too.

And UMD did just that. The Bulldogs used their dominant defense and superb preparation to upend the nation's top-ranked team 19-13 in double overtime Saturday. The win propels UMD to heights never before seen by a UMD football program. They are in the Division II national semifinals against California University of Pennsylvania. It's a game we are told will be at Malosky Stadium on the UMD campus, though that hasn't been officially announced yet.

The football team is already en route to Duluth, where it's expected that they will land within 90 minutes of faceoff here at the DECC, where the UMD men's hockey team will be playing St. Cloud State. I'm also being told the team will be introduced during one of the intermissions, which should provide a pretty loud ovation here at the DECC.

Speaking of the hockey game, here are tonight's lines.

Connolly (Mike) - Sharp - Kemp
Fulton - Connolly (Jack) - Fontaine
Carroll - Akins - Gergen
Greer - Bordson - Schmidt

Meyers - Montgomery
Oberg - Palm
Cascalenda - Huttel

Stalock - Hjelle - Reiter

Swanson - Marvin - Novak
Festler - LeBlanc - Volpei
Olson - Oslund - Borgen
Christian - Roe - Lasch

Rioux - Raboin
Lauridsen - Barta
Zabkowicz - Hepp

Weslosky - Dunn

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