Fan frenzy greets Bulldogs’ second consecutive NCAA Frozen Four title
BUFFALO, N.Y. — David “Biddy” Cummings is the University of Minnesota Duluth fan — superfan if his Twitter bio is to be believed — who got ESPN famous after the University of Minnesota Duluth’s semifinal win over Providence College in the NCAA Frozen Four semifinals.
“We won and they panned to me and I was crying,” said the 2011 UMD graduate, wearing the maroon mohawk hat his mom made for him out of yarn and a stocking cap.
The video of Cummings’ happy tears as he tugged his hat-hair and his friend Jake Klein consoling him made the sports network and ultimately became a gif. Messages from friends poured in, he said.
Cummings was among the hundreds of Bulldog fans and superfans who saw the team win its second national title Saturday night at KeyBank Center. UMD shut out the University of Massachusetts 3-0 in a game that, in Buffalo, was celebrated with chants and selfies with player and, back home, with the downing of a light pole in Canal Park.
Cummings and Klein were part of a vocal fan section that went full-flare and instigated the chants. Klein put his back and neck veins into leading rounds of “UMD! UMD! UMD!”
Brad Anderson, a UMD season ticket holder, said he felt weird about removing the faded maroon flag from his porch. Typically it’s on his boat in the summer and waves on his house throughout the season. He has to buy a new one every 2-3 years, he said.
Anderson, too, landed on national television with his flag.
“I might have had the flag upside down and inside out on Thursday,” he said.
Anderson was at the tournament with his friend Jason “Sully” Sullivan, a friend and fellow UMD grade made within the hockey scene.
“We made a bad financial decision,” said Sullivan, “but we had no choice.”
“The joke has been that this trip is priceless,” added Anderson, an accountant who opted for Buffalo in the thick of the tax season. You only get so many chances to see your team in the Frozen Four, he said. “Could be a long time or it could be next year.”
Rachel Jacob, a season ticket holder since 2001, is a UMD graduate who picked her school based on two things: it was 2 hours away from her hometown and had a good Division I hockey program.
Kenny Reiter, a goalie who won a national title with the Bulldogs in 2011, wore his championship ring to Saturday night’s game.
“I’m a nervous wreck,” he said. “All of my fingernails are bitten down.”
Reiter, who has returned to Pittsburgh and works in finance, said he was very impressed to see where the team has gone since he started in 2007.
“I think it’s the model program,” he said. “The type of kids (Coach Scott Sandelin) recruits are hardworking and quality. It’s second to none.”
Asked if his championship team could beat this year’s championship team, he opted out.
“I think it would be tied and have to go to a shootout,” he said.
Fans crowded to the glass to watch the celebrations and take selfies with the players.
Back in Duluth, there were reports of a downed light pole in Canal Park and at least one person hung from the sign at Grandma’s Sports Garden, where hundreds of people watched the game.