It's the game that no one wants to think about, but everyone wants to talk about headed into this weekend's rematch of the 2017 NCAA Division I men's hockey championship game.
University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) players and coaches certainly won't ever forget that game, a 3-2 loss to Denver, but they're also not dwelling on it headed into what they call a new challenge in a new year.
"Obviously it helps we have such a young team, so a lot of guys weren't there," sophomore Joey Anderson said. "We know what kind of animal is coming into our building, and it's going to be a war."
While the wounds aren't as fresh as they were last April, they are still present. That was evident enough talking with players on Wednesday afternoon, some of whom said this weekend may act somewhat like therapy.
"We've been looking a little bit back to last year. It was such a close game," sophomore forward Riley Tufte said. "We definitely want to get back at these guys, so it's still in my head at least."
Denver comes into the game as the top-ranked team in the country, but UMD head coach Scott Sandelin says that's more about what they've done this year than last.
"It's bitter because we lost that game," he said. "Both teams are different. They've got some returning guys who are difference makers, so do we. We're looking forward to the challenge."
The games Friday and Saturday both start at 7:07 p.m. at AMSOIL Arena, and both can be seen live locally on My 9 Sports.