Sioux Crew 50 Ventures to Frozen Four
University of North Dakota
Fighting Sioux fans attending the Frozen Four might have felt a strange sense of déjà vu at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, MN. After all, many did the same trip just weeks ago during the WCHA Final Five playoffs.
The spectacle of large amounts of UND students, alumni and friends of the Sioux is nothing short of a mass pilgrimage that comes once a year.
And it certainly felt like that when driving down to the cities on Thursday. Hoards of fans ready for the game were easily identified by their green, white and black jerseys. Cars rolling eastward on I-94 had some form of “Go Sioux,” on them.
With a sold-out crowd on both nights, tickets were hard to come by, especially on a college student budget – tickets were going for upwards of $500. Luckily for 50 UND students, front-row seats were just an email away.
An email ofter, exclusively for Sioux Crew members, put the select group of die-hard hockey fans right up next to the action. “We want you to be the strong cheering section during the game,” a Sioux Crew representative later said on the phone. “We’re relying on the students to create an atmosphere.”
Prior to the game, as fans from all over the hockey world flooded into the arena, we were treated to a red-carpet entrance by all four teams participating in the tournament. “I’m having a blast out here,” one student said. “It’s not all about hockey but the atmosphere.”
Sioux Crew – a student-only athletic fan group – provides a strong student fan base at every UND sporting event, not just hockey. Each Sioux Crew member “checks in” at the start of every game to earn points, redeemable for rewards and prizes around Grand Forks.
For the ultra-loyal fans: the opportunity of a lifetime. Those with perfect attendance at all men’s hockey home games got first pick.
“Sioux Crew members' requests will be ranked in order of member loyal point total ... with priority going to those members with perfect attendance at men's hockey games during the 2010-11 season,” an email said.
Loud from start to finish.
Early in the first period, Michigan senior Ben Winnet stuck one past Aaron Dell, giving the Wolverines the one-goal lead that they would carry for most of the game.
Where most hockey fans would have slumped in their seats, the “Sioux Crew 50” rallied strong. The Grand Forks Herald’s Brad Schlossman said on his blog: “Sioux fans at the game were outstanding. Sometimes, when the team doesn’t score, the crowd gets taken out of the game.”
In the end, things came crashing down as Michigan’s Scooter Vaughan scored the empty-netter for a 2-0 shutout.
The scene after the final buzzer was sobering. Fans slowly walking out the doors in disbelief, ushers pushing various Sioux fans to the door.
But - after all that, came the realization of all the hardwork put forth by the team, and the realization of the accomplishments from this season alone. As a friend and I walked out the doors, a taunting Duluth fan heckled at us.
“It’s okay,” my friend shouted back. “We only have seven.”
Life after hockey.
Opportunities to earn points will continue into the year, with many spring sports just beginning their season.
Sioux Crew will host the First Annual Ultimate Student Tailgating Showdown at UND’s spring football game. Contact Katie Horob at firstname.lastname@example.org or 777-1373, or visit the Sioux Crew website for more information.
Sean Lee. "Sioux Crew 50 Ventures to Frozen Four" (2011). UND News Archive. 41.