North Dakota's hockey team came to the 2012 WCHA Final Five in St. Paul with a chance to make history. And now the Fighting Sioux have another line in the record book.
UND defeated Denver 4-0 on Saturday at Xcel Energy Center to become the first team to win the Broadmoor Trophy three years in a row.
The victory also means the Fighting Sioux will be one of the four No. 1 regional seeds for the NCAA tournament and probably be assigned to the West Regional at Xcel next weekend. The Gophers, as the host school, will be the No. 2 seed there, so it is possible they could meet UND in the regional final.
"That would be nice to be back here again," said UND's Brock Nelson, whose power-play goal opened the scoring.
North Dakota's run to the WCHA tournament title began Thursday with a 4-1 victory over St. Cloud State. Next the Fighting Sioux beat the Gophers 6-3 in the semifinals, rallying from a 3-0 deficit.
North Dakota (25-12-3) built on its string of six unanswered goals Friday with four more against the Pioneers. UND took a 2-0 lead late in the first period on goals 46 seconds apart by forwards Nelson and Carter Rowney.
Michael Parks scored the Sioux's third goal on a power play in the second period and Mark MacMillan added an unassisted, short-handed goal in the third.
UND goalie Aaron Dell stopped 22 shots for the shutout and was named the tournament MVP.
"Aaron carried the team this weekend," North Dakota coach Dave Hakstol said. "[Friday] night against Minnesota, he was our first star. He kept us in the hockey game when it was 3-0. [He] gave us the opportunity to get through that game and get in the championship game."
Four teammates joined Dell on the all-tournament team: forwards Nelson and Mario Lamoureux, and defensemen Derek Forbort and Andrew MacWilliam. Also honored was Denver forward Jason Zucker, who suffered an undisclosed injury in the third period.
The 11 at-large teams in the NCAA tournament will be announced at 11 a.m. today on ESPNU. The selection show also will reveal their regional assignments and those of the five conference champions with automatic bids.
The other three No. 1 seeds and their expected regional assignments: Boston College in Worcester, Mass.; Michigan in Green Bay, Wis.; and Union in Bridgeport, Conn.