Minnesota-Duluth will take on the University of Minnesota Sunday at 1:00pm.
While giving the Bulldogs credit for an outstanding performance second-year Spartans coach Rick Comley hinted at wholesale changes in the Spartans lineup in the offseason.
"I would like to say congratulations to Minnesota-Duluth," said a gracious Comely who lamented his teams inablity to score goals at critical times in the season.
"Our inability to be effective offensively has been evident all year. At times we get a goal and at times we didn't. I thought that Duluth was a really, really good team and I thought that they were deserving of what they had today."
Then Comley dropped the bombshell.
"There was nothing acceptable about [MSU's performance]. We only have two seniors, but I'm not convinced the whole package [of underclassmen players] will be back [next season]."
One of those players on the hotseat could be freshman goaltender Dominic Vicari, who blamed his team's lack of offensive production in the second half for the outcome despite his poor performance. Vicari was pulled after giving up three goals during a seven minute span which gave Duluth a 4-0 second period lead. He was pulled in favor of veteran goaltender Mike Migliaccio.
"They had a couple of good bounces that went their way," said Vicari. "They just seemed to throw me off my game and that does it some nights. The first period went pretty well. I thought that we outplayed them. They got a lucky tip goal to make it 1-0. But we came out kind of dead in the second. We only got two or three shots, and you can't score many goals with two or three shots."
For Duluth coach Scott Sandelin, who was making his first ever appearance in the NCAA tournament as a head coach, he was just happy to get a win.
"I'm certainly excited for our program and players," said coach Scott Sandelin. "But personally, I'm sure glad not to be 0-1 in this tournament."
Still, Comely put the onus on his team to improve this offeseason from a 23-17-2 mark and a one-and-done performance in the NCAA tournament.