Posted at: 04/14/2014 9:39 AM
Updated at: 04/14/2014 1:41 PM
By: WNYT Staff
SCHENECTADY - The Union College men's hockey team is back on campus.
They were greeted by a cheering crowd when they returned to Schenectady on Sunday, after winning the national championship.
A police escort brought them the rest of the way back to the Union College campus from the Thruway. The Dutchmen came back as national champions to a hero's welcome in the Electric City.
“It’s awesome – with the school and all the fans here, it’s just awesome,” exclaimed Senior Forward Kevin Sullivan.
Union's men's hockey team came off the bus with pride -- holding the ultimate prize in college hockey -- the trophy of the NCAA tournament. It's the school's first ever national championship in any Division 1 sport. The players say they were still on cloud nine.
“It hasn’t even sunken in, in the slightest. It’s exciting,” said Senior Forward Matt Hatch.
They beat Minnesota 7 to 4 Saturday night at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. Their fans and fellow students -- many of whom erupted in celebration Sunday night came to see the players off the bus. They took pictures and signed autographs.
The screams and the jubilation continued as if it never stopped after the moment the clock ticked to the end of the game.
“This campus has been going crazy. I mean, think about it. No one gave it a shot. Now, we’re here and we’re national champs. What else could you ask for?” said Michael Domadio, a Union College student.
“It’s just been so much fun on campus. Everyone has just been enjoying themselves and came together last night. It’s just been a lot of fun,” said Haley Lough, another student.
Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy who arranged the police escort says this is a significant achievement not just for Union College but for the entire community. He says it's a boost to the good things already going on in Schenectady.
“This victory by Union College continues to build that image and the overall quality of life. It’s not just one thing. There’s excellence happening in all the different area of Schenectady,” said the mayor.