ST. CLOUD - Garrett Raboin knows all about "the streak" the St. Cloud State University men's hockey team currently has strapped to their back.
It is mentioned annually, about this time of year, and it's one Raboin -- a Detroit Lakes graduate -- thinks is undeservedly attached to this Husky team.
The numbers are 0-6, the record the SCSU men's hockey team has in NCAA tournament play.
And it's one Raboin, his teammates and SCSU alum hope dissolves this Friday in Albany, N.Y., beginning at 3 p.m.
But the 0-6 streak isn't a main concern -- or really a concern at all -- for the Huskies, Raboin said.
"Yes, the Huskies are 0-6 in the NCAA Tournament, but our team this year is 0-0 in the tournament," Raboin said. "This is a whole new crop of guys playing. Each of those teams who have lost in the tournament were their own team.
"We are our own team this year."
This year's squad has the chance to make SCSU history with a win Friday in the East Regionals, which will be televised on ESPNU.
The Huskies (19-15-5) gained the No. 2 seed in the regional and will face No. 3 Clarkston (21-12-4) of the ECAC conference.
On paper, this could be the best draw the Huskies have had in the NCAA's, but that obviously doesn't add up to an automatic win.
Raboin knows the feeling of defeat in the NCAA's, after SCSU lost to Maine in 2007 in the opening round.
But things have changed for the sophomore defenseman and his SCSU teammates.
Last season, the Huskies were plagued by a weak power play. This year, they have the fourth-best power play in the nation, with a 23 percent average.
It's a unit Raboin knows well, after seeing lots of time on the power play.
"Another piece of the puzzle was the addition of (freshman) Garrett Roe (18 goals)," Raboin said. "Our three guys down low in Roe, Ryan Lasch and Andreas Nodl are just so hard to defend.
"The other defenseman (on the power play), John Swanson and I just shoot the biscuit when needed. But that's not too much."
The Huskies' front line of Lasch, Nodl and Roe (whom Raboin played against during his USHL days) has been a formidable one, with Lasch being SCSU's second straight Hobey Baker Award finalist, with 53 points (25 goals and 28 assists) on the season.
Raboin's emergence for the Huskies started his freshman year, last season, and his progression to his sophomore season earned him the alternate captain status.
He has played in every game this year (39) and even marked up the first couple of goals of his collegiate career.
His first came in the second game of the Wisconsin series, with many members of his family in the National Hockey Center stands.
"That was pretty nice having my family there for my first goal," said Raboin, who also has 16 assists on the year.
The Huskies are also 9-3-0 when Raboin notches a point.
"I am put in some different situations and I get some good power play minutes with those three forwards," Raboin said. "I'm logging in more ice time and I feel like I've been able to keep my composure and learn a lot (the last two years)."
It was almost looking to be a rebuilding year for the Huskies, after they lost their All-American goalie, Bobby Goepfert to graduation and the defensive unit was quite green.
The start was less than auspicious, as SCSU dropped five games alone after collapsing in the third period. Goalie Jase Weslosky struggle to gain his niche, as head coach Bob Motzko played Dan Dunn in a rotation with Weslosky.
But the Huskies turned their season around, by putting together a five-game winning streak towards the end of the season and going unbeaten in their last eight of nine games -- including a pair of ties against the University of North Dakota to end the regular season.
"We put a bigger emphasis on defense and not just sitting back when we had a lead," Raboin said of the turnaround. "We just started to keep pushing in the third period."
Weslosky also came into his own, securing the starting spot and raising his save percentage to a lofty .931.
The Huskies finished tied for fourth in the highly-competitive WCHA. They swept Wisconsin in the opening round of the conference playoffs and lost a heartbreaker to the Minnesota Gophers in the waning seconds of the play-in game for the WCHA final four.
But SCSU had already secured a bid in the NCAA, as the WCHA sent a record six teams to the national tournament.
Clarkston will still be a big hurdle, with their goalie David Leggio having a solid save percentage at .918.
SCSU's penalty kill could prove as a positive, since the Golden Knights' power play has been pretty shabby this season -- which was evident in their opening round upset loss to Colgate in the ECAC playoffs.
The Huskies and Golden Knights split a two-game series Nov. 23-24 at Clarkston (Potsdam, N.Y.), with SCSU winning game one 4-1, but losing the second 3-2.
"We beat them with a few power play goals, but they came back and scored some short handed goals against us," Raboin said. "They have 12 short handed goals this year and their goalie is one of the better ones in the nation.
"We'll need a good game to move on."
The Huskies are in a tough Eastern Regional, with No. 1 overall Michigan residing in the other bracket. The Wolverines (31-5-4) face No. 4 Niagara (22-10-4) in the opening round.
"I don't know much about Michigan, but if we are lucky enough to advance and play them, we'll be up and be ready to play them if they advance," Raboin included.
Joining the Huskies from the WCHA are five other teams. The No. 3 Gophers play No. 2 Boston College in the Northeastern Regional; No. 2 Colorado College faces defending national champion No. 3 Michigan State in the Western Regional; the No. 1 Sioux plays No. 4 Princeton and No. 2 Denver plays No. 3 Wisconsin in the Midwestern bracket.
The Huskies maybe lugging a bit of a historical burden -- undeservedly or not -- with the 0-6 mark.
Although Raboin and his teammates want to quash that black mark for their SCSU brethren, they will be playing for their own pride, as well.
"Obviously, people don't want to hear about it, but 0-6 is the record which is deserved," Raboin said. "It will be nice to get a win for (the alum and fans) and get rid of that 0-6 record, but we are also going out to win for ourselves.
"We want to be playing Saturday."
Which, incidentally, will be the time for the Eastern Regional title game and one game away from the Frozen Four.