ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) - As the NCAA Final Four came to a close this week all eyes turned to Minneapolis as next year's host, though St. Paul is looking at holding a major sporting event of its own this week.
The best teams in college hockey will descend upon the city for this year's NCAA Frozen Four, with the University of Minnesota-Duluth being the sole representative from the state to compete. The other teams include Ohio State, Notre Dame and Michigan.
UMD hit the ice Wednesday in preparation for the tournament, afterword saying that for many players the opportunity to represent the State of Hockey on what is ostensibly their home turf made their accomplishments this season mean just a little bit more.
"I played here when I was in high school when I was a junior," said Riley Tufte, a Bulldogs forward and Ham Lake native. "It's going to be fun, I know I'll have a lot of family in town and there will be a lot of Bulldog fans here so it's going to be awesome."
Towns from across the metro are also well represented on this year's team, led by Joey and Mikey Anderson--two brothers from Roseville who are also teammates on the U.S. juniors team. They're hoping to add to their already long list of accomplishments with a national championship, starting Thursday with a semifinal against Ohio State.
"As kids everyday we'd go in the backyard and pretend we were playing for a national championship or playing at the world juniors," Mikey Anderson said. "Having it all actually happen, and being able to do it with [Joey], it's just everything we've ever dreamed about."