Maple Ridge’s Tim Daly is part of a St. Cloud Huskies team that will be playing in the Frozen Four.
The NCAA championship will be played in Pittsburgh’s Consol Energy Centre, a sheet of ice normally patrolled by Sidney Crosby and Evgeny Malkin of the Penguins, on April 11.
It is the first time that St. Cloud has ever placed in the Frozen Four.
“The atmosphere here is pretty cool,” he said in a phone interview. “Fans were waiting for us at the airport when we got back.
“It’s a pretty special time for our program”
Sunday they beat Miami (Ohio) 4-1 in the regional tournament championship to advance to the Frozen Four. Along the way, the fourth-seeded Huskies also beat the top-seeded Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
Daly played for the Junior B Ridge Meadows Flames, then went on to two seasons with the Junior A Langley Rivermen, before accepting a scholarship to play at St. Cloud.
In junior he added a lot of offence. In 119 games in the B.C. Hockey League he tallied 20 goals and 48 assists for 68 points.
With the Huskies the sophomore gets a regular shift, plays on the second pairing in a shut-down role, and is a penalty killer.
In two seasons, he has two goals and five points in 70 games played. He finished this year a plus five.
“My job is to prevent goals,” he said. “We’ve just got so many offensive guys up front, and on our top defensive pair.”
They favour a fun style of hockey to watch and to play – high tempo, emphasizing speed and creating offence.
“We knew we had a special group going into the start of the season.”
The Huskies will meet the Quinnipiac Bobcats in a semi-final game, and if they win, will advance to the final against the winner of a game between Yale and Massachusetts-Lowell on April 13.
The SRT graduate played his minor hockey for the Burnaby Winter Club, and while there won a provincial championship at the pee wee level, and as a bantam won the provincial and Western Canadian championships.
“In my hockey career, this is the highlight,” he said. “It’s just a huge experience.”