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College men's hockey: Bulldogs' Soucy hopeful he can play in Frozen Four

Sitting in their hotel room in Fargo, N.D., prior to playing Boston University in the NCAA West Regional final, Minnesota Duluth defensemen and road roommates Willie Raskob and Neal Pionk pondered the implications of that next game.

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Carson Soucy (21) of Minnesota Duluth controls the puck earlier this season against North Dakota at Amsoil Arena. Soucy has been out of the lineup since March 3 with a lower-body injury, but is hopeful he can play in the Frozen Four in Chicago. (Clint Austin / caustin@duluthnews.com)

Sitting in their hotel room in Fargo, N.D., prior to playing Boston University in the NCAA West Regional final, Minnesota Duluth defensemen and road roommates Willie Raskob and Neal Pionk pondered the implications of that next game.

A win would vanquish the painful memories of back-to-back losses the previous two years in regional finals. A win would put the Bulldogs back in the Frozen Four for the first time since 2011.

A win would give their injured teammate, senior defenseman Carson Soucy, another chance to put on the Bulldogs sweater one more time.

"It was in a lot of our heads, in the back of a lot of our minds," said Raskob, a senior. "When we got to that championship game against BU, we all had that feeling. We had a chance to get one of our best friends, our brothers, and get him back in a jersey. It's something I would love to see."

Soucy's chance of wearing a game jersey remains alive, but the 6-foot-4, 215-pound defenseman, who was taken by the Minnesota Wild in the fifth round of the 2013 NHL Draft, remains questionable for Thursday's NCAA Frozen Four semifinal against Harvard at United Center in Chicago.

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Soucy went down with a lower-body injury during the third period of a March 3 loss at Western Michigan. That was the second-to-last game of the regular season. He's missed the last seven games.

Soucy is back practicing almost in full with his teammates. After calling him "week-to-week" for the past month, UMD was able to offer a more positive prognosis Monday. Soucy is now "day-to-day."

"It's getting better every day. You have to limit it a little bit, but you want to be out there with the guys skating, testing those bumps," Soucy said after Monday's practice. "Today felt pretty good. I'll take care of it tonight and hopefully be back tomorrow. Limit the soreness, limit my movement.

"I'm taking it day-by-day, and hope it gets better by Thursday."

Soucy had three goals and 12 assists in the 33 games before going down against the Broncos in Kalamazoo, Mich. He has 12 goals and 35 assists in 145 career games.

Defensively, Soucy has a modest plus-7 rating, but has 50 blocked shots for an average of 1.52 per game. He is a key piece of the team's penalty kill and often played alongside Raskob against other team's top lines.

Raskob said Soucy has had a great attitude the past month. Soucy has been a good resource too, often sharing the little things he sees from the stands, Raskob said,

"Soucy is a great leader. He's been a leader for us all year," Raskob said. "He has a great mentality. No down attitude at all. He's been real positive and helping us out. He definitely hasn't been someone who has been sulking with the chance he may not play again. He's been awesome."

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Watching his teammates from the stands and celebrating NCHC and NCAA regional titles in a suit hasn't always been easy, and the two overtime games in Fargo against Ohio State and Boston U were stressful, Soucy said.

But winning has helped. Soucy is hopeful he can play this week in the Frozen Four, an event he's waited four long years to play in as a Bulldog.

"That's what we've worked for all four years now. Teams don't get there very often," Soucy said. "It will mean a lot if I will be able to go."

 

NCAA FROZEN FOUR

At United Center, Chicago

Thursday's Semifinals

Minnesota Duluth (27-6-7) vs. Harvard (28-5-2), 5 p.m. (ESPN2)

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Denver (31-7-4) vs. Notre Dame (23-11-5), 8:30 p.m. (ESPN2)

Saturday's Championship

Semifinal winners, 7 p.m. (ESPN)

Related Topics: BULLDOG SPORTS
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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