Mike Ingoldsby stood off from the red carpet where the Union hockey team entered Wells Fargo Center on Saturday afternoon, wearing a Union hockey T-shirt with a No. 8 that still should have been his.
Ingoldsby, a defenseman, played half of his freshman year for the Dutchmen, until a series of concussions ended his career. He would have been part of this stellar senior class that has led Union to this Frozen Four championship game tonight against Minnesota (7:30 p.m., ESPN).
"It’s a little bit weird -- and a little bit more nerve-wracking,” he said of watching the Dutchmen. “When you’re playing, you can control things.”
Jim Knowlton, RPI’s athletic director, said it won’t be weird if, as NCAA Hockey Committee chairman, he ends up handing the title trophy to Union coach Rick Bennett.
“How is it going to be handing it to Rick?” RPI coach Seth Appert asked Knowlton in a text.
“It will be great,” he responded.
“For years we’ve been trying to battle with the big boys,” Knowlton said. “After the last couple of years ECAC Hockey is competing.”
Union fans teemed down the Thruway and New Jersey Turnpike Saturday. Rich Malaczynski of Schenectady, who graduated from Union in 1991, said that unlike the Dutchmen’s Frozen Four run in 2012, the tiny school goes in to this game as the big boy.
“It wouldn’t be shocking like the last time if they win,” he said. “I’m expecting them to win. It’s Minnesota who should be worried about Union.”