DENVER - It's been an exhausting few days for the University of Denver men's hockey team, so much so, the team may actually be asleep.
You see, while some dreams end when you wake up, the DU Pioneers are still living theirs.
"We were talking about this earlier this morning and it really hasn't sunk in yet. I don't know when it will. We just keep having fun and stay in the moment," DU senior Evan Janssen said. "It's been an incredible ride. The amount of people who reached out congratulating us, I'm just trying to take it all in."
On Tuesday, the Pios hosted their National Championship Celebration in front of a supportive crowd at Magness Arena. Many of those in attendance were also in Chicago to watch DU bring home its eighth title in program history.
"We were all super anxious to get back and be back in Denver to enjoy this with everyone else. As much as it is our national championship, it's the city's as well," senior Matt VanVoorhis said.
"[The support] has been unbelievable. Everyone's been so supportive. They were before, but now that we've won especially, it's been great," senior Matt Marcinew added. "The fans all year have been awesome. This season has been our best turn-outs, by far. We appreciate all of them coming out every single night."
Denver mayor Michael Hancock and Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper were also in attendance for the ceremony. The governor declared April 11, 2017 as University of Denver Hockey National Champions Day.
"That's an incredible honor to have, for sure," VanVoorhis said.
You can ask any youth hockey player and you'll hear the same answer. Each and every one of them envisions holding up a national title trophy one day in their career. For this group of Pioneers, it was no different.
"It's honestly a dream come true. For me, growing up, I always wanted to win a national championship. To say that I'm a national champion now, it's indescribable," VanVoorhis said. "This is the best experience of my life with the best group of guys I've ever met in my life."
There were tears, laughter, passion and raw emotions. It all felt real on Wednesday night. But while the feeling of winning still hasn't set in more most of the team, they will eventually realize their dream really did come true.
© 2017 KUSA-TV