LAS VEGAS – Athletics department officials from the University of North Dakota and the University of Minnesota announced on Wednesday a four-year scheduling agreement between the two programs in which the two schools will host alternating non-conference series beginning in 2019-20.
Minnesota will host series at Mariucci Arena in both 2019-20 and 2021-22 and North Dakota will host 2-game non-conference series at Ralph Engelstad Arena in 2020-21 and 2022-23.
Earlier today, it was also announced that the two schools would meet in the 2018 U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Game in Las Vegas, an event that is not a part of the four-year scheduling agreement.
“Continuing this rivalry is a big deal for our program and our fans,” said UND head coach Brad Berry. “These are two very proud and historic programs, and the memories these games have created throughout the years has cemented it as the best rivalry in college hockey.”
The North Dakota-Minnesota men’s hockey rivalry dates back to the 1947-48 season and has seen the two storied programs square off 284 times (Minnesota leads 139-130-15). The two teams, formerly longtime conference rivals, have met only once in the past three seasons, a Minnesota victory in the 2014 NCAA Frozen Four semifinal in Philadelphia. The rivalry is scheduled to resume this November at Minnesota and again in 2017-18 in Grand Forks. Today’s announcements means the longtime rivals will meet at least 13 times in the next seven years.
“We’re thrilled to be able to come to this agreement with the University of Minnesota,” said UND Athletics Director Brian Faison. “Rivalries are one of the many things that make college sports so special and there are none better in college hockey than this one. Our players, coaches and fans are all looking forward to it.”
UND and Minnesota have combined to win 13 NCAA Division I men’s hockey championships, including eight by North Dakota (most recently in 2015-16) and five by the Golden Gophers.
The Fighting Hawks will open the 2016-17 season with an Oct. 1 exhibition game against the University of Manitoba, and then begin the regular season following weekend against Canisius.