Vikings Honor NCAA Champion UMD Bulldogs

By KBJR News 1

September 1, 2011 Updated Sep 2, 2011 at 12:08 AM CDT

Minneapolis, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) --- Members of the UMD Bulldogs men's hockey team were the guests of honor Thursday night at the final preseason game of the Minnesota Vikings.

It was all part of what has seemed like an ongoing celebration following the Bulldogs' first men's hockey national championship in April.

The day after winning the title, UMD was honored at the Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Wild game and has since held several ceremonies at AMOSIL Arena in Duluth.

Bulldogs sophomore forward J.T. Brown, the most valuable player in the 2011 Frozen Four, is the son of the former Vikings running back Ted Brown and blew the traditional horn before Thursday's game.

"It's definitely exciting," Brown said. "It was something very special for us that we did last year and going to all the different Minnesota pro games is something special. I just hope I don't mess it up."

"It was a special moment for us, and it was a big championship for the city of Duluth," Bulldogs senior center Jack Connolly said. "Anytime I can get out here and celebrate with my teammates it's great, and to be here at the Vikes game is awesome."

"It's something you really can't explain, even now," UMD senior goaltender Kenny Reiter said. "It's something I'll always have with me. It's huge for Duluth, and I'm so proud to be a part of it."

"Win a national championship and you get to do awesome stuff like this," Bulldogs senior forward Travis Oleksuk said. "We've been to the Twins game, been to the Wild game, now been to the Vikings game. We've seen it all."

"It's an honor, really," UMD sophomore forward Max Tardy said. "I think winning it in Minnesota really helped. It's been great for the state, and it's been awesome for us."

The Bulldogs will officially start their national championship defense October 7 at home against Notre Dame.

Posted by Zach Schneider