ST. CLOUD, Minn. - For the duration of two hockey seasons four St. Cloud State University hockey players went with the flow... flow, as in the swoops of their award winning mullets.
But with the conclusion of a successful campaign that led to the NCAA semi-finals, it was time for Tim Daly, Nic Dowd, Nick Jensen and David Morley to let go of the locks. They reported to Fantastic Sams at St. Cloud's Crossroads Center Sunday to do just that.
"We were talking about it today when we were picking (teammates) up," freshman forward David Morley said. "We were complaining about how long it was and how much of a pain it was. But to finally get it cut today, we were almost kind of nervous about it."
The hairy group - which consisted of those gathered Sunday, plus junior forward Cory Thorson and senior forward Ben Hanowski - gained attention both locally and nationally during St. Cloud State's NCAA Frozen Four run. And it wasn't just for their looks, but because they planned to donate their hair to the charity Locks of Love after the season.
Hair donated to Locks of Love is used to make wigs for people with cancer or other illnesses.
"I think that's the only reason that we can walk around with hair like this and get away with it," said Dowd, a junior forward. "It's just the fact that we know it's going to a great cause and we know what we're doing is going to help someone out that's less fortunate than us."
"We're really excited that we're going to help someone in need."
A 4-1 loss Thursday to Quinnipiac University meant that it was only a matter of time before the teammates saw their first pair of clippers in years.
Daly, a sophomore defenseman, was the first to take the chair. Having the curliest hair of the bunch meant that he was shown some extra attention and ended up with plenty of interesting mid-cut hairdos before
settling on a look.
"It feels great, I feel like a new man," Daly said. "It's a pretty cool thing to be a part of. I've never had long hair before, so to do it once in my life ... it's a great opportunity and we're doing it for a good cause."
To donate, each player had to have a minimum of 10 inches of hair. Stylists fashioned each person's hair into a series of ponytails, cut off the excess and then styled a new cut to the player's liking. As hair piled on the floor beneath each player, the room was more reminiscent of a kennel full of shedding dogs than a hair salon.
"I hardly recognize myself, but it feels good to finally cut it and finally get it on its way," Jensen said.
Chopping off their locks also capped a historical season for the Huskies, and their fans, with the team's first appearance in the Frozen Four.
"Oh my God, it was unbelievable," Dowd said. "It was special, it's something that I'll never forget."
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