It's been 23 years since the University of North Dakota missed back to back NCAA Tournaments until this year, when the Fighting Hawks were again left out of the postseason party.
This year was even more frustrating for UND fans as the team failed to win a playoff series for the first time since 2002.
Hockey fans in Fargo just saw American International College win a postseason game, which has to make this year even more frustrating. How can this happen? UND has every advantage possible, from the best facility in the sport, Ralph Engelstad Arena to unmatched tradition with eight national championships.
They have NHL standouts every where you look, Zach Parise, Jonathan Toews, TJ Oshie and Brock Nelson. That might be a reason why UND missed out on the tournament. Brock Boeser, Tyson Jost and Christian Wolanin would have all been on this team had they not left for the NHL early.
But the last two years simply put UND hasn't been good enough. Every team has injuries, but there hasn't been a sniper on this team like Boeser was. Brad Berry isn't in danger of losing his job, but the locals are restless. Especially if Duluth wins a second straight title with an alum as head coach in Scott Sandelin.
Cole Spicer is the 11th player from either Grand Forks, Fargo, Moorhead or East Grand Forks to commit to UND over the past three years. It's up in the air if Berry will be there to coach them when they get to the Ralph.