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Rodd's Ramblings... Who's the underdog now?

Among the most satisfying things that Lumberjack hockey fans can take away from their team's Section 7AA title win over Anoka is the fact that nobody, or darn close to nobody, gave the team a chance to win against the so-called better team.

Among the most satisfying things that Lumberjack hockey fans can take away from their team's Section 7AA title win over Anoka is the fact that nobody, or darn close to nobody, gave the team a chance to win against the so-called better team.

A non-scientific poll by this writer prior to the game found very few CEC fans who were totally confident that their team would win. They were hopeful and supportive, but it appeared the odds were not in their favor.

Another poll in "press row" showed not one of the media types felt the Jacks would win unless they played a perfect game. There was the general thought they could win, but it would be pretty tough for them to pull off two huge upsets in a row after beating Duluth East in the semi finals. When pressed to actually pick a final score, nearly all the so-called media experts picked Anoka by at least two goals.

The fact that the Jacks fans knew it would be difficult did not dampen their spirit. Ironically one of the stranger stories of the day included a former Cloquet graduate, who now lives in Anoka, making the trek home with her husband to catch the game at the DECC. Her husband graduated from Anoka and works in Anoka with people who had boys playing for the Tornados.

Ironically, the husband was so caught up in the excitement of his wife that he decided to take the day off and the pair spent the day shopping for anything purple that said Lumberjacks, or had the Jacks logo on it.

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Believe it or not, the husband became a Lumberjack convert. As they waited for the ticket window to open, the duo could be found talking to Jackie Hebert, the statistician for the Jacks team, in the lobby at the DECC wearing new purple Lumberjack jerseys.

Interesting enough, what set the gentleman over the edge was the fact that all his co-workers gave the Lumberjacks no chance of winning either!

The best part of this tale is that someone forgot to tell this gritty, determined bunch that they were supposed to lose! Instead, coach Dave Esse and his staff somehow got this group to buy into the fact that amazing things can be done when a group of athletes rise to the occasion and work for the common goal - and that was to go out and win as the underdog again!

With the way they played against Anoka, who knows what could happen in the state tournament?

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