Dakota College at Bottineau's men's hockey is going to ACHA Nationals for the first time after beating Weber and Montana State in the ACHA West Regional. It took all the Lumberjacks had, including a 2-1 overtime decision over the Wildcats.
"This is where the memories are made. [We knew] that we all had to come together and if we wanted to be there, we had to do it as a team," said sophomore defenseman Alex Hoffert.
The team has been backed by a core of freshmen and sophomores.
"You're nervous if the young guys are going to adjust fast or if they're not going to be ready by the end of the year... obviously they found a way and everybody just bought in by the end of the year," said team captain Logan Robinson.
DCB put the West Region on notice, now it's time to play for more hardware.
"People were asking us where we were from, and they were just shocked. They're like 'you're from where?' I just think we need to go there, be ourselves and prove that we belong [at Nationals]," Hoffert said.
The Jacks are in a tough group featuring Lindenwood, Florida Gulf Coast and Northeastern to start the National Tournament, but that's not stopping their confidence.
"We're not going down there to get participation ribbons. We're going to go down there and win some hockey games. We're playing for a national championship, so there's not much more you can ask for," said head coach Travis Rybchinski.
Nationals run from March 20-24.