BROSSARD - One of goaltender Charlie Lindgren's good buddies recently reached out to him with a special request.
It was his former St. Cloud State University teammate and current Huskies assistant coach, Nick Oliver, asking if he would send along a video message to his former squad ahead of the NCHC playoffs.
The 25-year-old Lakeville, MN native was quick to oblige.
"It meant a lot. I felt pretty honored to do that. I want to see them win a National Championship," said Lindgren, before the Canadiens departed for Philadelphia on Monday. "St. Cloud hasn't got one yet, and we've been knocking on the door. We just haven't been able to break through. I have a ton of pride in that school and I'm going to pull super hard for them because it would be sweet if they could bring one home."
A member of the Huskies between the 2013-14 and 2015-16 campaigns, Lindgren hoped to inspire the top-ranked contingent in the country with his words of encouragement.
"I told them 'It's time, it's finally time.' We have one Frozen Four appearance, but this is a team that has shown all year long that they've got all the tools. They've got a good goalie, they've got good defense, good forwards, they've got everything. They can score goals, they can keep the puck out of the net. I said 'You can't have any regrets. College is an unbelievable time in your life and lay it out there every single shift.' I know they will."
Everything certainly clicked this past weekend when they swept their opening-round series against the Miami University RedHawks to earn a berth in the upcoming NCHC Frozen Faceoff.
The best-of-three series was played on home turf at Herb Brooks Arena, where the Huskies went undefeated all year long.
"Things seem like they're trending in the right direction. Finishing undefeated on home ice in college is pretty much unheard of, so that just shows how powerful they are," said Lindgren. "Even when I was in college I played with some of those guys, and I knew once they got to be seniors they were going to be a force to be reckoned with. They've recruited really well after that, too. They're a talented bunch, so it's fun to watch."
Maintaining his SCSU ties
While Lindgren's busy schedule these days doesn't always allow him to watch the Huskies live, he makes every effort to track their progress online.
He also checks in with some of his former teammates on a regular basis.
"We've got a Husky group chat and everything, so I still stay pretty close," explained Lindgren. "That's the one thing I can say about St. Cloud is we were all so close. The team camaraderie there was unbelievable. I still keep in touch with the majority of the guys, which is really impressive. This summer, we've got a little Husky golf outing that a lot of us are going to do. Just being able to stay in contact and share that pride that we're going to have for the rest of our lives, it's pretty fun."
Lindgren will also chat up Canadiens prospect and fellow Lakeville native Ryan Poehling during the summer months, too.
He was happy to see Poehling score the game-winning goal against the RedHawks during Friday night's triumph with helpers from his brothers Nick and Jack on the play.
"They have a lot of chemistry, playing together for 15, 16 years. They've probably played a million shifts together," mentioned Lindgren. "They probably know where each other are in their sleep. That's not a surprise."