North Dakota Hockey to Play Rival Minnesota in Thanksgiving Series
The Fighting Hawks and the Gophers will play on Thursday and Friday at 7:00 p.m.
GRAND FORKS, N.D. — There is plenty for North Dakota hockey fans to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.
They’ll have a chance to watch their team play in not just one of the most anticipated series of this season, but also to see another chapter of one of the most historic college hockey rivalries when the Fighting Hawks travel down to Minneapolis to take on longtime-foe Minnesota on Thanksgiving day.
“It’s something special we had in the WCHA,” head coach Brad Berry said. “The players look forward to it, the coaching staff look forward to it, but the fans – they absolutely look forward to it. I know from both sides – from the NCHC side and the Big Ten side – the fans miss that each and every year.”
“I’m from Oregon, which is a long way from a lot of college hockey teams, and growing up, even I knew about this rivalry,” sophomore forward Jasper Weatherby admitted. “Fans don’t like each other, we don’t like each other on the ice, and those are the games you live for. Those are the game you want to play in.”
“It’s something where you don’t play them directly in your conference, yet you still know they are there,” added Berry. “I know they know we’re here as far as what we do. It’s a great brand of hockey. It’s a high-intense game of hockey where you have really good players out there going at it, and most of all, there is a respect factor. At the end of the day, how competitive it goes, there is a lot of respect that goes both ways.”
These two rivals did meet last season for one game with UND taking the 3-1 victory, but that took place on a neutral site in Las Vegas, NV. This time around, the Fighting Hawks will have the added pressure of getting it done on the Gophers home ice.