St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis was among the excited St. Cloud residents to attend a Tuesday morning pep rally to send off the Husky hockey team to the Frozen Four in Pittsburgh.

Mayor Kleis proclaimed this week "Husky Week" and encouraged residents and fans across the state to wear St. Cloud colors. Mayor Kleis also noted that he would be making the trip to Pittsburgh to cheer on the team.

Athletic Director Heather Weems read a few words of encouragement for the team, then showed off an impressive throwing arm in distributing T-shirts to the eager crowd.

Photo: Dave Overlund

Coach Motzko then spoke to the hundreds of Husky diehards.

"This is a time for us to be proud of not just the hockey team," coach Bob Motzko said to the packed Atwood Ballroom crowd. "This is a time for us to be proud of St. Cloud State University."

The coach, standing before his team minutes before boarding a plane bound for Pennsylvania, said "This is a moment for us to puff out our chest, we are on the national scene now." The coach then gestured toward his team and said, "It's their time in the sun now."

Photo: Dave Overlund

After a couple of words from captains Drew LeBlanc and Ben Hanowski, the team boarded a bus bound for the airport to cheers of "Hus-ky Na-tion" from the "Dogg Pound" student section.

Photo: Dave Overlund