SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS CENTER) - Auburn native Joe Dumais has spent 10 of the past 12 years in NCAA Division I hockey as either a player or coach, but no day will compare to what he experienced on Saturday when he won a National Championship.
"It was unbelievable," he said.
One of the two primary assistants at Union College celebrated on the bench and the ice with the rest of the Dutchmen as they beat perennial powers Minnesota 7-4.
"Everybody, all our players were jumping on top of each other on the bench. As a coach, just watching the joy in those guys faces, you just can't describe it. It was pretty special and that's why you coach," he said.
The St. Dominic Academy alum, who played at Quinnipiac for four seasons and has coached at Connecticut for three more, was surrounded by his family for the occasion in Philadephia. His parents, who still reside in Auburn, have been along for the ride the past two months as they've traveled throughout New England and Upstate New York to watch Union's final ten games. Their support, especially after the final, was something that stood out to their son.
"You know, after the game I'm on the ice and I look up and you know my wife and my parents and my mother and father-in-law, my sister and brother-in-law, my other sister and brother-in-law, it was such a special feeling," Dumais said.
What makes Dumais' and Union's achievement even more remarkable is how they won their first national championship:
It was the Dutchmen's first final in any sports since 1929.
They don't offer athletic scholarships to players and they have only one of this year's Dutchmen was drafted by an NHL team.
Union's opponents in the national semi-final Boston College has won five national titles, has 23 scholarship players, 10 of whom belong to NHL teams. National runners-up Minnesota has four NCAA championships, 23 players on scholarship with 14 of them the property of NHL organizations.