As expected, UND and Minnesota have officially signed a contract to renew the rivalry in 2016-17.
The sides had verbally agreed to this last month.
As reported at that time, the contract is for two years. In 2016-17, they will play in Mariucci Arena. In 2017-18, they will play in Ralph Engelstad Arena.
“This is a rivalry that our fans, alumni and team look forward to renewing,” said UND head coach Dave Hakstol. “It is one of the most heated in all of college sports.”
“We’re thrilled to officially get North Dakota back on our schedule and to renew one of the greatest rivalries in our sport,” Minnesota head coach Don Lucia said. “This rivalry is great for our programs, great for college hockey and great for our fans, and we’re excited to bring North Dakota back to Mariucci Arena.”
Here’s the story from about a month ago (and then I’m going back to bed):
Minnesota, UND agree to return of rivalry
Author: Brad Elliott Schlossman; Herald Staff Writer
One of the great college hockey rivalries won’t be dormant for long.
North Dakota and Minnesota have verbally agreed to renew the rivalry series in 2016-17, a source confirmed to the Herald.
Contracts are in the process of being drawn up. When they are completed and signed, an announcement is expected.
The agreement is for the teams to play a pair of two-game series. The first one, in 2016-17, will be played in Minneapolis. The following year, the teams will play in Grand Forks.
Those matchups will end a three-year stretch without a regular-season series between the longtime rivals who played every year from 1948 to 2013.
The break in the rivalry is happening, in large part, as a result of the teams moving into separate conferences.
The charter Western Collegiate Hockey Association members both have moved into startup leagues this season. UND will play in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference. Minnesota will play in the Big Ten.
The teams were unable to nail down a nonconference agreement immediately.
One of the hurdles was UND’s Fighting Sioux nickname.
Minnesota said it could not schedule UND because of a school policy against playing teams with Native American nicknames.
That hurdle has been removed.
The last meeting between the teams was a 4-4 tie on January 19 in Mariucci Arena. Their last meeting in Grand Forks came in January 2012.
UND now has lined up nonconference series against three Big Ten programs.
It has a four-year agreement with the University of Wisconsin starting in 2014-15 and a two-year agreement with Michigan State.
This season, UND’s nonconference games are against Vermont, Boston University, St. Lawrence, Northern Michigan and Bemidji State.