Frattin Reflects on His Past, Looks to the Future
Hobey Finalist Expected to Make NHL Debut Saturday in Toronto
by Dan Myers/CHN Staff
ST. PAUL, Minn. It's been a tremendous season for Matt Frattin and the North Dakota Fighting Sioux.
This weekend has been another story.
With the disappointment from Thursday's night's 2-0 loss to Michigan in the national semifinals still clouding his face, Frattin was the sentimental favorite of the heavily partisan crowd on hand Friday at the Xcel Energy Center.
Unfortunately for those fans, their man came up short.
But, by all measures, all three Hobey finalists were worthy candidates. This time it was Miami's Andy Miele who took Hobey home, becoming the first Red Hawk to win the award in school history.
For Frattin, the last 24 hours and the next 24 hours will certainly be a roller coaster ride. He will be playing in a big game Saturday, it just won't be in St. Paul. Instead, Frattin signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs and is expected to make his National Hockey League debut against the Montreal Canadiens.
"I've just gotta take it day-by-day," Frattin said. "Sometimes life doesn't go your way. I've gotta try to keep my emotions in check because eventually it will.
"It's definitely going to be an experience and a half. I need to cherish it and take it all in because I'm only going to get to do it once."
Frattin's off-ice problems have been well documented. He missed the first half of last season after being dismissed from the team but returned and scored 11 goals and assisted on eight more over the season's final 24 games.
This season, he scored 36 goals and recorded 60 points in 44 games in a season to remember. And although UND didn't accomplish the major goal it set out to in October, Frattin said there is still plenty to be proud of.
"We had a great year, won the Broadmoor, won the MacNaughton. We're disappointed in last night but if you look back, I think this season will still be a success," he said.
Still stung by last night's loss, Frattin's teammates and coaches chose to stay behind and support Frattin from the stands. They sat together with the crowd, more than 90 percent wearing green and white.
"That's those Sioux fans," Frattin said. "They travel around, it doesn't matter; east coast, west coast. I think they're the best fans in college hockey."
And although Frattin will leave St. Paul — and Grand Forks — empty handed, he said he'll look back on Friday's Hobey Baker ceremony with fondness.
"Today was just a life experience that not too many people can cherish," Frattin said. "Only three people once a year can experience it, so you just try to take it in and just have fun with it."