Blugolds Return As National Champions - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Blugolds Return As National Champions

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The Blugolds return as NCAA DIII National Champions The Blugolds return as NCAA DIII National Champions
Matt Loen presents the championship trophy to fans at Hobbs Ice Center Matt Loen presents the championship trophy to fans at Hobbs Ice Center
UWEC senior forward Jordan Singer UWEC senior forward Jordan Singer
UWEC senior forward Andrew McCabe UWEC senior forward Andrew McCabe
UWEC senior goalie Brandon Stephenson UWEC senior goalie Brandon Stephenson

Eau Claire (WQOW) -- The NCAA DIII Hockey champions returned to Eau Claire on Sunday.

The UW-Eau Claire men's hockey team set a plethora of program records during the 2012-2013 season, but the Blugolds saved the best for last, winning the NCAA DIII National Championship on Saturday.

Sunday, the team was welcomed home by fans at Hobbs Ice Center. It is the program's first-ever NCAA title. Head coach Matt Loen says he's spent most of the season looking ahead to the team's next game. Sunday, he finally took some time to enjoy the team's accomplishments.

"With the travel day today, I had some time to think about it and how incredible the accomplishment really is," says Loen. "It's an awesome experience playing out there in Lake Placid and obviously winning the national championship is a phenomenal accomplishment for our program."

The Blugolds' senior leadership was on display all season, but that was especially evident in the Frozen Four where the team erased early deficits in both games. Those ten seniors ended their collegiate careers with a win on the sport's biggest stage.

"I think one of the funnest things in hockey is when you can throw your gloves and sticks and helmets up in the air and I've been waiting for that moment for the longest time," says senior forward Jordan Singer. "I haven't been able to do that since I've been a peewee or a bantam. It's been a long time coming and it's got to be the best feeling in the world." 

"It really hasn't set in yet. But I've never in my hockey career gone out a winner, being that team that didn't lose their last game of the season. So it's a great feeling, it's a different feeling and it's something I'm very proud of," adds senior forward Andrew McCabe.

"We felt there was something special and to actually go out and do it and prove ourselves and to prove to everyone in the nation that we are the best team is just -- it's indescribable," says senior goalie Brandon Stephenson.

 

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