Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- Every player dreams of scoring the big goal, but for University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) senior forward Max Tardy, it's the work he puts in away from games that means the most.
"To know how to contribute in those situations in games you really have to work at it in practice," Tardy said. "You have to be committed and buy in to your role on the team."
Tardy's role, though, has not been an easy one to buy into. After playing 41 games as a sophomore, the Duluth, Minn. native has found himself in and out of the lineup the past two seasons, something teammates say has not changed his attitude.
"He's such a positive guy and overall just an unbelievable teammate," junior Adam Krause said. "He's the type of guy where if he's not in the lineup, he's still going to be positive and still going to work hard. I have a lot of respect for him, and I think everyone else does too."
Tardy has carefully cultivated that respect in the UMD locker room, making sure both he and younger players understand the greater good for which they play.
"It's not just the 20 guys who are on the ice, it's all 26 guys here that we work hard for and we want to win for," Tardy said. "Showing that younger guys that we have now who might be in a similar situation and don't know how to handle it, I take a lot of pride in showing them the right way to go about it."
"Guys like Max who show that type of teamwork and team play is very important for the young guys," Krause said, "and it reminds how important it is to stick together and how you win titles here."
Which Tardy did, along with 25 guys in 2011, proudly displaying the jersey of his hometown Bulldogs.
"You never really think it's going to happen," he said of playing for UMD. "It's been a dream come true, these four years.