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Eddy, Huskies ready for NCAA Tournament

Former Woodbury Royals hockey player David Eddy will compete for St. Cloud State University in the NCAA hockey tournament this weekend. Eddy scored two goals in the WCHA conference tournament championship game earlier this month.1 / 2
Former Woodbury Royals hockey player David Eddy scored two goals for his college team, the St. Cloud State Huskies, earlier this month in the WCHA Final Five conference tourney. Eddy and the Huskies return to the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul Friday for their first round game in the NCAA Division I Mens Hockey Tournament. Photo courtesy Jeff Wood, St. Cloud State University.2 / 2

David Eddy is living the dream -- and he knows it.

The Woodbury High School alumnus, who brought many a Royals hockey fan to their feet in his time at the Bielenberg Sports Center, is now doing the same for St. Cloud State.

"It's been quite a ride," Eddy said. "It's been real good -- I love it here."

A freshman forward for the Huskies, Eddy gives credit for his first-year collegiate successes to his teammates and coaches who have helped him progress as the speed, size and intensity of the game he plays has increased."

"Overall, it's more difficult," he said. "It's really something at first, but then you start to fit in, then move in and you get more confident.

"Plus, it is very easy to get points when you play with the guys I've been playing with -- they are very, very good."

Eddy has logged 10 assists and scored 12 goals this season -- including two against North Dakota in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association championship game, held March 20 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

"It was awesome," he said of scoring on the Fighting Sioux in the title contest -- won, 5-3, by North Dakota. "We got off to a good start, but it just didn't end up all that well."

Still, thanks in part to Eddy's efforts, the Huskies will return to the Capitol City this weekend as the No. 2 seed in the Midwest Regional of the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I Men's Hockey Championship Tournament.

"It's fantastic," Eddy said of the chance to once again play in front of friends and family at Xcel. "Three-quarters of this team is from Minnesota, we all wanted to play in St. Paul again."

The Huskies (23-13-5 overall this season) have yet to win an NCAA Tournament game in the history of the program, but will get their chance against Northern Michigan (20-12-8) on Friday, March 26.

"Northern Michigan is a very good team and we have got to prepare hard for them," Eddy said.

Not that any of the Huskies are looking ahead, but an opening-round victory could mean a rematch with Wisconsin the next night.

The Badgers were given the No. 1 seed in the Regional despite losing to St. Cloud State in the WCHA Tournament after the two teams split their four games during the regular season.

Wisconsin (25-10-4) plays Vermont (17-14-7) in the opening round.

"We had a winning record against Wisconsin and have the overall series lead on them, but Wisconsin has been in front of us all year and is getting all the attention heading into the tournament," Eddy said. "In addition to winning a first round game, it's just another thing we must prove -- we're confident, though; we've been an underdog all year long and we'd be happy to prove how good we are once again."

Eddy, who wore No. 9 as a Royal and now dons No. 22 with the Huskies, says there is a lot about St. Cloud State that reminds him of Woodbury, where he played until graduating in 2008 before posting 59 points in one season of junior hockey with the Sioux Falls (S. Dak.) Stampede of the United States Hockey League.

"It's very similar," he said. "The whole community is behind us, just like it was in Woodbury, and the WCHA is a lot like the (Suburban East Conference) where every game is a tough game and even the so-called 'bad' teams are still pretty good."

That isn't all that reminds Eddy of Woodbury...

"A lot of people are looking past us," he said. "It's like how we were overlooked in Woodbury before we went to State and then even after we went to State -- it was always, 'Cretin is better,' or 'Rosemount... Eastview,' that's a lot like what it feels like now. Everyone is thinking Wisconsin, but it is up to us to prove them wrong."