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UND, Minnesota set dates for next two hockey series; Holy Cross to return to The Ralph

The Fighting Hawks and Gophers will play in October the next two seasons.

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UND's Jake Sanderson skates around Minnesota's Ben Brinkman in the second period Saturday at the Ralph Engelstad Arena. Photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

The crowds may be a little more frenzied the next two years when rivals North Dakota and Minnesota meet on the ice.

Unlike their last two series — which both came on Thanksgiving weekend — students will be in town next time.

The Fighting Hawks and Gophers will meet in Minneapolis on Oct. 21-22, 2022.

They'll meet in Grand Forks on Oct. 20-21, 2023.

Those two series had to be re-worked after the 2020-21 pandemic-altered season wiped out nonconference games for both teams, pushing everything back a year.

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The 2022 and 2023 series are the final ones on the books for the longtime rivals, who moved into different leagues in 2013-14.

The rivals went three years without a regular-season meeting from 2013-14 to 2015-16. Then, they reached agreements to play in seven consecutive years — three series at each venue as well as a single game in Las Vegas (2018).

With no agreements beyond the 2023 games, it's possible the rivalry series will go back on hiatus in a couple of years.

Holy Cross to return to The Ralph

Holy Cross will be coming back to Ralph Engelstad Arena, the site of its biggest win in program history.

The Crusaders have signed a contract to play against UND in nonconference next season.

Holy Cross became the first No. 4 seed to upset a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament when it beat Minnesota in the 2006 NCAA regionals in Grand Forks. A No. 4 has beaten a No. 1 every year since.

The Crusaders lost to UND in the regional final that season.

This won't be the Crusaders' first trip back to Grand Forks since the 2006 regionals. In January 2013, they played a two-game series against UND in The Ralph. UND swept that series 5-2 and 3-2.

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UND's nonconference schedule for next season is nearly complete. The Fighting Hawks will host Holy Cross and Quinnipiac in two-game series, play at Minnesota for two, play a home-and-home with Bemidji State and play a single game against Arizona State in Las Vegas. That leaves room for two more nonconference games.

Schlossman has covered college hockey for the Grand Forks Herald since 2005. He has been recognized by the Associated Press Sports Editors as the top beat writer for the Herald's circulation division four times and the North Dakota sportswriter of the year once. He resides in Grand Forks. Reach him at bschlossman@gfherald.com.
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