Mondays usually mean the WCHA Weekly Preview, but something happened last night in the WCHA that I feel needs mentioning today instead. The preview will be posted tomorrow or Wednesday.
About two weeks ago, I suggested that the University of North Dakota should put senior walk-on goalie Tate Maris into the game during the team’s WCHA first-round playoff series if the opportunity arises.
With 4:44 left in the third period and North Dakota holding a dominating 6-0 lead in game three of its series against Michigan Tech, head coach Dave Hakstol did just that.
After chants of “We want Tate” echoed throughout the Ralph Engelstad Arena, Maris, who had never played a second of a non-exhibition game, took to the ice to a standing ovation from the fans in his final game at the Ralph.
I had plans to attend the game and sit in the second row by the net that Maris was tending, but the winter weather ruined those plans. Therefore, instead of relating my observations from being at the game and sharing what would have been great photos of Maris’ moment, I can only share my thoughts from watching the game online and share videos, stories, and reactions that I’ve found online.
When Maris entered the game, I actually started tearing up. Here’s a guy who has worked hard in practice for four years and who missed out on an opportunity to play on senior night finally getting the moment he deserved.
It’s clear from the fan reaction at the game and the reactions from the players on Twitter and in interviews after the game that I’m not alone in feeling that way.
Maris only faced one shot, but he can now say with pride that he has a career 1.000 save percentage and a 0.00 goals against average. How many Division I goalies can say that?
Here’s video of the save:
After the game, Maris tweeted the following:
Several current and former North Dakota players took to Twitter after the game to give their reaction and congratulations:
- Sophomore forward Mark MacMillan (@EasyMac_16): Unreal effort from everyone for the win tonight. Huge congrats to @TAT3MARI5 on the shutout #welldeserved #siouxwarriors
- Senior defenseman Joe Gleason (@GleasonJ020): Had a great 4 years at the Ralph, but seeing @TAT3MARI5 play last night, il never forget that. Well deserved bud
- Junior forward Mitch MacMillan (@MitchMac25): Great effort by the boys tonight to close out the series! Couldn’t be happier for @TAT3MARI5 tonight. #siouxwarriors
- Sophomore forward Stephane Pattyn (@GeneralPattyn28): Also congrats to @Tat3Mari5 on getting in tonight and finishing the job. The guy works hard every day and finally gets his time.
- Freshman goalie Zane Gothberg (@ZanoInsano_29): Great way to finish off the home ice advantage. Thata boy @TAT3MARI5! Proud of u and the senior class! Lets keep it rolling into #finalfive
- Junior goalie Clarke Saunders (@clarkesaunders): Boys played unreal tonight. Great way to head into final five. And happy for @TAT3MARI5 to get some time, you deserve it bro! #sioux
- Former defenseman Chay Genoway (@chaygenoway): Tate Maris #stud
- Former goalie Brad Eidsness (@BEidsness): Wish I was there to see one of my best friends @TAT3MARI5 get in the @UNDMHockey game tonight. Nobody is more deserving #siouxwarrior
- Former forward Mario Lamoureux (@MarioLamoureux9): Pumped to see my brotha @TAT3MARI5 get in the mix tonight. Great teammate and selfless individual who works his butt off everyday #sioux
- Former forward Evan Trupp (@trupper19): Hey @TAT3MARI5.. You probably didn’t hear it, but even I was chanting for Tate Maris up here in Alaska #youdaman
For one final piece about Maris’ night, check out this column from the Grand Forks Herald‘s Tom Miller.
Enjoy your Rudy moment, Tate Maris. It was well deserved.