SAINT PAUL, MINNESOTA — A year after falling short in the national title game, Minnesota Duluth returned to the Frozen Four and this time came out on top to win the 2018 national championship, their second national title in program history (2011, 2018).
Three alumni of the Alberta Junior Hockey League are members of the National Champion Bulldogs –Junior Parker Mackay (Spruce Grove Saints), Senior Sammy Spurrell (Spruce Grove Saints) and Senior Nick McCormack (Brooks Bandits).
Parker Mackay was the Captain of the Spruce Grove Saints in 2014-15 and now serves as an Alternate Captain for the Bulldogs. He was the 2014-15 recipient of the Don McNabb Memorial Trophy (Most Dedicated Player in the AJHL) and also received the 2015 AJHL Playoff MVP Award after leading the Saints to their second league playoff title in as many years. Mackay spent three years as a member of the Saints (2012-2015).
Sammy Spurrell also spent three seasons with the Saints (2010-2013), recording 114 points in 148 regular season games. He resided atop the AJHL rookie scoring charts in 2010-11 with 45 points in 60 games enroute to being selected as a finalist for the Dick White Trophy, which is given to the AJHL’s top rookie. Spurrell and the Saints captured the League Title in 2011.
Nick McCormack patrolled the blue line for the Brooks Bandits in the 2013-14 season before joining the Bulldogs. He was second among Bandit defencemen in scoring with 39 points in 57 regular season games and added another 4 points during the nine-game AJHL playoff run.
The Bulldogs scored the first two goals of the game in the first period and kept Notre Dame scoreless for the final 30:20 to clinch the national title with a 2-1 victory.