Eau Claire (WQOW) -- For the first time in program history, the UW-Eau Claire men's hockey team prepares for a game in Lake Placid, New York. The Blugolds face Utica College in the DIII Frozen Four on Friday.
When the current crop of seniors arrived on campus, a trip the national tournament seemed like a stretch. In the players' freshman season, the Blugolds struggled to an 8-15-4 finish. But the players always believed they had the ability to be great.
"We've known that we have something special since day one," says senior goalie Brandon Stephenson. "From year to year, we've gotten better. And to finally do it this year, we have the opportunity to go out there in the Frozen Four and prove to everyone that we are a good team and we deserve to be there. It's awesome. Words can't describe the emotions that a lot of us are feeling, but we're all happy and hopefully come Saturday, we're holding that title."
The first Frozen Four semifinal will pit 2010 national champ Norwich (VT) versus 2007 NCAA winner Oswego State (NY). Then, it'll be UW-Eau Claire versus Utica (NY), at 6:30 P.M. (CDT). The winners will face off for the Division III national title Saturday at 6:00 P.M. (CDT).
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