UMD Alumni Celebrate National Championship Season

By KBJR News 1

July 30, 2011 Updated Jul 30, 2011 at 9:39 PM CDT

Superior, WI (Northland's NewsCenter) --- The 2010-11 UMD Bulldogs men's hockey team became the first in program history to receive national championship rings on Friday night.

On Saturday, more than 80 Bulldogs alumni joined in on the fun.

Former UMD players and coaches gathered at Nemadji Golf Course in Superior for the annual alumni weekend, celebrating the first national title in the 67-year history of Bulldogs men's hockey.

Many of them said it was a great honor to be able to celebrate with last year's team, and that UMD still feels like one big family.

"What these kids did, it's something that we almost had a chance to do," former UMD center Time Stapleton said. "For them to be able to do it, it's exciting for the city and exciting for the alumni. I feel kind of part of it now, so it's been a fun weekend."

"It's great. We came close in 2004 and the 1980s as well," former Bulldogs forward and Hobey Baker winner Junior Lessard said. "I got to watch the last couple games of the year on television, and I was so proud. Those guys deserved it, and the town deserved it. It's a fun weekend to be able to meet those guys and see the old players as well."

"It's a great honor to come back and spend some time with the actual guys who won the championship," former Bulldogs forward Marco Peluso said. "It seems like every year this weekend gets bigger and bigger, and it's extra special this year. It's UMD's first national championship and I think we're all pretty proud."

"I can't even put it into words, really, even after the time for it to sink in," former UMD forward and current assistant coach Derek Plante said. "Growing up watching the Bulldogs, cheering for them my whole life, to come back and be part of the first championship, it's indescribable. When you're a little kid, that's what you play for, to win a championship."

Posted by Zach Schneider