Minot State proved this year that last season's national title wasn't a fluke. The Beavers took everyone's best shot and are headed back to the national tournament.
Sixteen hundred and forty miles is a long way by bus, but the Beavers will gladly take that problem. MSU plays Delaware Saturday night, a team that Minot St. feels it can take advantage of with their better balance and depth.
"They are very top heavy. They got a couple guys up front that they really put in every situation, especially power plays and penalty kills and they play regular shifts. They really heavily rely on their top line to be the catalyst and, for us, the biggest thing is to neutralize that and play very physical.," head coach Wade Regier says.
Minot State has won its past five games heading into the tournament and the Beavers look to have corrected whatever they were going through in the middle of the season slump. The veterans on this team have won a national championship before and guys like Brett Nespor offered advice to the younger kids.
"It's about working as hard as hard as you possibly can. Coming in last year for me, I was probably a fourth line guy. You have to try to put your best effort forward and go from there. You have to play a role like you're used to doing. Try to help out the team anyway you can," sophomore Brett Nespor says.
"They just said this week get a lot of rest and make sure we get all our classes handled and our homework done so when we get there it's all hockey focused so we don't have to worry about anything else," freshman Brett McNevin says.
Minot St. plays Delaware Saturday night at 7 p.m.