2007 Frozen Four Brings Back Memories for Current Florida Panthers Players
/ Florida Panthers
This year marks the 20th anniversary of North Dakota defeating Michigan State in the NCAA Men’s Hockey Championship game. In goal for North Dakota that night was the Panthers own Ed Belfour. During the 1986-87 season with the Fighting Sioux, Belfour posted a 29-4 mark with a 2.37 GAA.
Fastforward 20 years to 2007. The 2007 Frozen Four begins Thursday and Michigan State and North Dakota are one win away from facing each other again in the National Championship Game. Michigan State takes on Maine, while North Dakota faces Boston College in the National Semifinals.
For Belfour, it brings back memories of his one year with the Fighting Sioux where he won the Championship.
“I am very excited and proud of them,” Belfour said with a big smile. “I am optimistic too that we will win.”
But there is another proud alum in the Panthers locker room who wants to see some revenge from that game 20 years ago.
David Booth played four years at Michigan State and had a stellar career there, scoring 45 goals and 58 assists in four seasons with the Spartans. Booth, who was just two and a half years old when Belfour won the NCAA Championship, has heard all the stories about that 1987 season.
“It was a fluke that North Dakota won 20 years ago,” Booth said. “It’s a fluke they are back again this year.”
“No way,” says Belfour.
As a Detroit native, Booth followed Michigan State since his youth. Even though he never got the opportunity to play in the Frozen Four, Booth is still very proud of his alma-mater this year and is still in contact with his former coaches and teammates.
“Last year we lost in the Elite 8 and I know what feeling we had then,” said Booth, who graduated from Michigan State in 2006. “People counted them out too soon this year. I am happy for my coaches and former teammates.”
As for Belfour and Booth who are now forced to watch their former teams play, the trash talking between the two in the locker room has already begun.
“I just feel sorry for Rhino [Mike Van Ryn].” Booth said.
Van Ryn is a former Michigan Wolverine, who got eliminated earlier in the tournament. I guess even in the best of times for your school, it’s still fun to pick on your biggest rival.