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Ode to Notre Dame Hockey

Letter to the Editor | Sunday, April 13, 2008

I love Notre Dame hockey like I love Notre Dame football. Maybe it’s because it was only at Notre Dame that I started loving and following the sport. Maybe it’s because, as part of the fencing team, I shared that half of the JACC with them for practices and home events. Whatever the reason, as soon as I found out that they were playing down in Colorado Springs for the West Regional, I had to take advantage of my first opportunity to watch some Notre Dame hockey in two years.The Michigan State game was amazing. My eyes welled up with pride having watched this team earn their first-ever trip to the Frozen Four. The tickets to the Frozen Four I finally found were the best 25th birthday present ever. And what surprised me Thursday afternoon on my way to the Pepsi Center from my apartment in south Denver was how nervous I was about the semifinal game. I could only imagine what they felt. The Michigan game was one of the best games (in any sport) I have ever watched. I was absolutely thrilled about seeing our team in the championship game. They were the Cinderella story of the Frozen Four.I walked into the Pepsi Center Saturday and as the game started, I could feel how nervous the Notre Dame team felt. I knew that it was probably too much to ask to see them win the championship in their first trip to the Frozen Four but I would not give up hope. Even when the second period score was 3-0 in Boston College’s favor. Even when they called back that goal in the third period, a call that probably cost Notre Dame their fighting chance at the title.It was a heartbreaker, but there was also something in that game that made the trip all the more outstanding: North Dakota. Having lost in a blowout Thursday night, many of the faithful returned Saturday night to watch the championship game. But even more, the Fighting Sioux threw all of their cheering power and support behind their fellow bearers of Notre Dame. It was incredible to see the Sioux, directly across from the Irish starting a “Let’s go Irish!” cheer in the middle of the second period and to see them start another, yelling “GO!” from their side, with the “IRISH!” returning from the Notre Dame contingent. They, along with the Notre Dame band, rallied the spirits of the Notre Dame faithful time and time again. It was a beautiful thing.I walked away with three feelings this weekend: heartbreak, undying pride in all the Irish hockey team has accomplished since a five-win season my senior year and a new fondness for the people of North Dakota. Thanks to the Sioux for their support and congratulations to the Irish on this phenomenal, historical accomplishment. I can’t wait to see them return to the Frozen Four next year!

Rebecca Chimahuskyalumclass of 2005Apr. 13