Thanks to hard work, a never-quit attitude and the ultimate team mentality St. Cloud State is enjoying an improbable berth in the 2013 Frozen Four, set to take on Quinnipiac on Thursday evening in Pittsburgh.
Overcoming a rocky end to the regular season with four losses in eight games, as well as a disappointing loss to Wisconsin in the WCHA tournament, the Huskies have suddenly rebounded with two dominant games over a couple of big opponents to carry some hard-earned momentum into the Frozen Four.
A season defined by perseverance, the Huskies had to overcome key injuries early on in the season and used a gift of an extra year of eligibility for top scorer Drew LeBlanc to lead a team-wide effort on offense and defense to fight through the tough season. Finishing No. 9 in the USCHO rankings at 23-15-1, the Huskies defined their season as not just one boosted by a Hobey Baker finalist but one that encompassed a team approach that personifies the unlikely appearance in college hockey's biggest tournament.
How they got here:
The Huskies dominated the University of Alaska in the WCHA playoffs before getting trounced by Wisconsin in the WCHA Final Five. St. Cloud recovered, outscoring Notre Dame and Miami by a combined score of 9-2 to earn their spot in the Frozen Four.
Look out for:
Drew LeBlanc was granted a medical redshit to return for his fifth year with St. Cloud and he has not disappointing, putting up 37 assists and 50 points in 41 games to be named a Hobey Baker finalist.
In the net:
Ryan Frragher has started all but two games this season for St. Cloud, a workhorse of a goalie that has been leaned upon heavily without significant assistance backing him up. Farragher is 24-14-1 on the year with a .916 save percentage and 2.23 goals-against average.