It is rare for a college player to be dismissed from their school team entirely and make a comeback. Generally, it means that the player has to find another school to take them in or they move along to some level of the professional ranks. The University of North Dakota’s Matt Frattin has trod a long and difficult path to return to the team he loves but through hard work and the support of loves ones the redemption of Matt Frattin is now complete. Named the Western College Hockey Association’s player of the year he has also been named to First All-Star Team and is one of the ten Hobey Baker Award finalists.
Last night he wrote another chapter in his story.
Along with being the NCAA leader in goals Frattin has been adding a number of game winning goals to his resume.
The senior right wing scored his sixth game-winning goal of the season 5:11 into the second overtime period of the WCHA Final Five championship game Saturday. The night before, Frattin scored with 5:40 to go with the score tied at 3, but it took only a day to put the memory of Friday’s goal on the back burner.
The biggest thing for North Dakota is that they won the tournament without their second leading scorer:
Frattin worked overtime both nights to make up for the absence of forward Jason Gregoire. Frattin scored the game winner both nights — his 34th and 35th of the season, respectively — en route to being named the Final Five’s most valuable player. He also added an assist on the weekend.
It was a weekend’s performance that certainly got the crowd thinking about what could happen:
As the teams stood on their blue lines, waiting for the trophy presentation, the crowd of 16,731 let out a booming “Ho-bey, Ba-ker” chant.
Matt Frattin may not have won that award on Saturday night, but his dramatic heroics did produce another trophy for the Sioux in this impressive season.
Obviously, there are some caveats to take into account with Matt Frattin’s big year: He’s a senior which provides an advantage, he plays on a really strong North Dakota team, and he could become a free agent on August 15th. Hopefully, last year’s offer of a professional contract by the Maple Leafs will help them when it comes time to sign Frattin. In the meantime, here’s hoping his great year continues in the NCAA tournament.
WCHA Championship Game Winner
2011 Hobey Baker Candidate Video