UND plans hockey pregame party... at Josh Rieger's wing joint

The UND Alumni Association will host parties before the Fighting Hawks' games against the University of Denver on Feb. 10-11.

UND defenseman Josh Rieger skates in front of the Cherry Cricket advertisement on UND's bench. Rieger was at the Cherry Cricket when he found out he was playing Saturday night and he rushed to the arena. Photo by Shannon Valerio/University of Denver

GRAND FORKS — The UND Alumni Association will host a pair of pregame parties before UND's contests at the University of Denver on Feb. 10-11.

The events will be held at the Cherry Cricket in the Cherry Creek neighborhood.

On Friday, Feb. 10, it will go from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. local (8:30 p.m. Central) at Magness Arena. It will be televised by CBS Sports Network.

On Saturday, Feb. 11, it will go from 3-5 p.m. Puck drop is scheduled for 6 p.m. local (7 p.m. Central). It will be carried on NCHC TV.

Fans who want to attend the event can register online here or email for more information.


The restaurant's name may ring a bell for UND fans.

In November 2019, UND defenseman Jonny Tychonick fell ill before a game and the Fighting Hawks had to insert Josh Rieger at the last minute.

UND staff members called Rieger to tell him he needed to get to the locker room, change and play that night. There was one problem — Rieger wasn't at the arena.

He was at the Cherry Cricket eating a pound of wings with UND's other scratch that night, Zach Yon.

Upon hearing the news, Rieger ordered an Uber and arrived at Magness Arena as the team was hitting the ice for warmups.

Rieger, then a junior, played that night, scored his first collegiate goal and UND won 4-1. His goal stood as the game-winner.

His story was featured on ESPN that week.

Rieger ended up scoring two goals in 48 career games at UND. Both came in Magness Arena. His second goal came during his senior season.


Although Rieger was eating wings, the Cherry Cricket is famous for its burgers. It has been featured on Food Network.

UND has not played at Magness Arena with fans allowed since Rieger's famous wing weekend.

In 2020-21, the game was played behind closed doors.

Last season, UND did not travel to Denver.

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
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