|(above) DU recruit Dakota Mermis will be a mainstay on the DU blueline next season|
by Weston Hodkiewicz
The Green Bay Gamblers will face Waterloo tonight in a deciding Game Five for the USHL Championship. Two DU recruits, team captain Grant Arnold and Dakota Mermis play for Green Bay. Former DU assistant coach Derrek Lalonde is the head coach for the Gamblers.
Grant Arnold never will forget May 12, 2010.
Then a first-year forward for the Green Bay Gamblers, it was that day Arnold stood before a deafening crowd at the Resch Center moments after the Gamblers defeated the Fargo Force 5-3 to capture their first USHL Clark Cup postseason championship in a decade.
All told, it took 72 games and every minute of the best-of-five championship series to put the Force away, but finally capturing that elusive championship made it every bit as memorable.
"I'll remember that night for the rest of my life," said Arnold, now a team captain in his third year with the Gamblers. "With 8,500 here and a sellout (crowd), the moment that buzzer hit zero was awesome. Hopefully, we'll do that again."
Arnold is one of three players left from the 2010 Clark Cup championship team For the last three seasons, Arnold has had front-row seats to one of the greatest runs in league history with three consecutive Clark Cup finals appearances, two Anderson Cup regular-season titles and one postseason crown.
The Gamblers split their home series with the Black Hawks last weekend before winning Game 3 in Waterloo Friday. They had a shot to close it out last Saturday, but fell 5-3 to force Game 5.
"It's a great way to close the book of an unreal ride," said Arnold, who will play at Denver next year. "We'll definitely look back on this window and be very thankful for everything that's happened."