Crowds congratulate Minot State men’s hockey team at Minot airport

Published: Mar. 22, 2023 at 10:56 PM CDT
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MINOT, N.D. (KMOT) - The Beavers are back in town.

Or rather, the 2023 ACHA Men’s Division I national champion Beavers are back in town.

The team arrived in Minot from Boston Wednesday night with fans, friends and faculty cheering them on as they hoisted the Murdoch Cup for the third time in program history.

The win secured a second national title for some of the team’s seniors who stuck around for a few years.

“I’ve always said it, Minot, North Dakota is like a little Canada, eh? It’s such a big hockey community and everyone gets together to celebrate these special moments and that’s what makes Minot so special, after all,” said Connor Navrot, a graduate student.

“The amount of texts and calls, tweets and Facebook (messages) and all that stuff... if I haven’t gotten back to you yet it’s nothing personal, it’s just been unbelievable and I know everybody is feeling that way. It means the world to us,” said Head Coach Wyatt Waselenchuk.

The team carried a small version of the trophy on the plane with them, but had to check a box with the real trophy.

After waiting four years since their last title, the Beavers had to wait an extra 20 minutes to unload the baggage from the plane.

“It was like $150, the ACHA probably should give us a stipend or something. But we got her through there. It was like 80 pounds,” said Waselenchuck, with a smile.

“It’s something that everybody wants to hold the entire time, nobody wants to let go of it, right? You get it for a year, then you got to battle and get it again. We want as much time as we can with it and when we get it, it’s pretty exciting,” said Davis Sheldon, a senior and the team captain.

Coach Waselenchuk added that while the real trophy will be kept safely on display, the smaller trophy may take a few dings during the celebrations.