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UMD men's hockey: Sandelin to represent NCHC on NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Committee

Bulldogs coach Scott Sandelin will serve a four-year term on the committee that oversees the NCAA tournament starting with the 2022-23 season.

Minnesota Duluth plays Denver in regional final game in Loveland
Minnesota Duluth head coach Scott Sandelin congratulates Denver head coach David Carle after losing 2-1 to Denver during the NCAA regional championship game on Saturday, March 26, 2022, at Budweiser Events Center in Loveland, Colorado.
Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune
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DULUTH — After taking Minnesota Duluth to four-straight NCAA Frozen Fours between 2017 and 2021, Bulldogs coach Scott Sandelin found himself in the stands earlier this month at the 2022 Frozen Four in Boston watching his son, Ryan, play for Minnesota State.

Sitting with his family in the stands at TD Garden, Sandelin said it was “weird” to be sitting across from the benches, not on them.

“It was different, but I enjoyed it,” Sandelin said. “I just enjoyed the whole thing. It may never happen again. I wish the result would have been different, but at the same time, good for Denver.”

In addition to being enjoyable, Sandelin said his experience at this year’s Frozen Four was also educational as the Bulldogs coach of 22 seasons will begin a four-year term on the NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Committee starting with the 2022-23 season.

The NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Committee — which is different than the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Ice Hockey Rules Committee — oversees the NCAA Division I men’s championship tournament, including the selection and seeding of each year’s field.

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Sandelin replaces Nebraska Omaha associate athletic director Mike Kemp, whose term representing the NCHC on the committee expired at the end of the 2021-22 season. Kemp concluded his four-year term as the committee chair the past two seasons.

It was a coach’s turn to represent the NCHC on the committee, and Sandelin volunteered to fill that spot. He said he made sure to take some notes in Boston as he experienced the Frozen Four as a spectator instead of as a participant.

“Obviously we’ve had a lot of experience in the tournaments, so hopefully I can share some insight. It’ll be good,” Sandelin said. “I’ve been around a long time. I’ve been fortunate to go through the tournament during a lot of different stages.”

In his 22 seasons as coach of the Bulldogs, Sandelin’s teams have made 11 NCAA tournament appearances, including seven straight dating back to 2014-15 (there was no NCAA tournament because of COVID-19 in 2019-20, however, the Bulldogs were a lock to make it that season). Those 11 appearances have come in nine different venues stretching from the Northeast to this year’s regional in Loveland, Colorado.

UMD has played in six NCAA Frozen Fours — in five different venues — under Sandelin, played in four NCAA title games and won three national championships in 2011, 2018 and 2019.

Sandelin 2019 trophy
Minnesota Duluth coach Scott Sandelin hoists the national championship trophy for the second year in a row and for the third time in his career after defeating Massachusetts 3-0 in the 2019 NCAA Championship at the KeyBank Center in Buffalo, N.Y. News Tribune file photo

Co-host of the Bulldog Insider Podcast and college hockey reporter for the Duluth News Tribune and The Rink Live covering the Minnesota Duluth men's and women's hockey programs.
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