Gophers-North Dakota rivalry returns in 2016


University of Minnesota and University of North Dakota hockey fans will be pleased to know the rivalry between the two former WCHA men's hockey teams will be renewed in the near future.

According to the Pioneer Press, the Gophers and North Dakota will face off in Minneapolis for a pair of games during the 2016-17 season, and then travel to Grand Forks for a pair of games the following season.

The photo in the tweet features former UND star Zach Parise and former Gophers star Keith Ballard. Both now play for the Minnesota Wild.

The rivalry began in 1930 and the two hockey powerhouses played every season from 1948 to 2013. Minnesota and UND won't meet this year because of conference realignment. The Gophers are now in the Big Ten while UND is in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC).

“We’re thrilled to officially get North Dakota back on our schedule and to renew one of the greatest rivalries in our sport,” Gophers coach Don Lucia said in a press release from the U of M. “This rivalry is great for our programs, great for college hockey and great for our fans, and we’re excited to bring North Dakota back to Mariucci Arena."

In the same release, UND coach Dave Hakstol said he's looking forward to renewing the rivalry because it's “one of the most heated in all of college sports."

Specific dates for the games have not been set.

There have been a ton of great moments in the rivalry, many of which include a fight or two.

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