Top stories of 2013 – No. 3: MSU wins ACHA title

The Minot State University men’s club hockey team hoisted its first Murdoch Cup in program history this year as the Beavers captured the American Collegiate Hockey Association national championship in March.

The Beavers finished 30-4 and defeated Lindenwood (Mo.) 9-5 in the championship game in Chicago. Six Beavers recorded goals and freshman Brody Haygarth netted a hat trick.

MSU reached the title game by beating Central Oklahoma, Oklahoma and Ohio in its first three games of the national tournament.

MSU coach Wade Regier said winning the title was not only great for his team, but for the community as well. It brought a positive spotlight on the city as it continued to rebuild from the Souris River Flood of 2011.

“We knew it was big, but when we beat Oklahoma to get to the final four, it was huge,” Regier said. “Our social media exploded.”

Regier said he received texts with pictures of packed crowds at Buffalo Wild Wings, Spicy Pie, Lucky Strike and the Beaver Dam on MSU’s campus all watching the games. Even the Star City Golf Course in Velva had the games showing on its big screen.

“It was huge how the community was so excited about it and how many people actually watched it,” Regier said. “It was amazing. It was quite exciting to see how much support we got. When we got back to Maysa Arena, there were a couple hundred people there to welcome us.”

The Beavers raised their national championship banner in October against Central Oklahoma. Thirty-six former MSU players were in attendance, which included the entire national championship team. The championship banner was hung above center ice at Maysa Arena, where it remains a permanent fixture.