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MARILYN HAGERTY: Frivolity in the Ralph for weekend hockey

Power Play Nachos, Bavarian nuts, Tim Hortons Timbits. Chicken strips, cotton candy, Little Caesar’s Pizza.

The array of food at the Ralph during UND hockey games is mind-boggling. There’s crazy bread and TCBY treats.

There are soft drinks. And there is plenty of beer, wine coolers, daiquiri drinks.

The eating starts well before the hockey game starts. And it continues throughout the evening, although vendors say people buy the most food right before or after the first period of the game.

Inside the vast arena, there are a dozen cheerleaders on ice. They glide gracefully beneath the spotlight. They line up and welcome the UND hockey team onto the rink.

All the while I am thinking that in another world I would try to be one of them.

The fan camera high above the ice catches little kids waving. Sometimes it zeroes in on a young man proposing to his chosen one.

Throughout the vast marble corridors of the vast Ralph arena, it seems as though you could get crushed. Students are selling chances. Musicians are playing their hearts out.

And the game goes on. Tonight and Saturday, the UND men in green and black will be hosting the team from Omaha coached by our own former coach Dean Blais. The band will play, and students probably will be there en masse shouting, “Sieve, sieve, sieve” when UND scores against the opposing goalie.

Between hockey games this weekend, UND women’s leading hoops team will be playing Idaho State team Saturday afternoon.

So the first full weekend of February is upon us and frisky squirrels are flying around in the trees. Sports fans will have a chance to hear what the coaches are thinking at a noon luncheon today at the Alerus. Highlights of the weekend include Radio Days and a nostalgic return to the 1940s. There will be a trip back to the days of FDR’s Fire Side Chats and it begins at 2 p.m. Sunday in the Myra Museum.

Ask Marilyn

Q. Why is Margaret Sullivan smiling?

A. She is happy because Sunday will be her 98th birthday and she says she is going for 100. Besides that, she shares her birthday with Josh Schuler of the UND men’s basketball team. She is at most of the games.

What else? Well Margaret is a bright light in Greater Grand Forks. She loves sports. Her late husband was Harold “Snooks” Sullivan, who coached all sports in East Grand Forks. Her late son, Pat Sullivan, was a coach at Central High and the funniest man on earth. Margaret grew up in East Grand Forks and is still living in the same house that has been home for 60 years. Oh, and she shows up faithfully for services at Mendenhall Presbyterian Church. There is no basketball on Sunday mornings.

Q. Who do you suppose will be coming to the hockey game tonight at UND?

A. Paul Ipolito has been planning to be there, full of wonder. He’s an Easterner, from Rochester, N.Y. He came here last fall when his son, Matthew, entered as a freshman in the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences at UND. He vowed he would be back in the dead of winter and watch a hockey game. And guess what? It was bad weather out East that caused his flight delay into Grand Forks today. But he will join up with his son to watch the game in Section 306 Saturday evening.

Dexter and Beth

Cheerful persons of the week: Dexter Albrecht and Beth Bouley.


Reach Marilyn Hagerty at or by telephone at (701) 772-1055.