It's back: Gopher hockey and UND verbally agree to continue famed series

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It will be three years, but the 2016-17 season will see the storied University of Minnesota-University of North Dakota Men's hockey rivalry resume.

In a verbal deal late Thursday, UND officials and U of M representatives agreed to a pair of non-conference series beginning with a 2016-17 series in Minneapolis, followed by a 2017-18 series in Grand Forks.

This season will mark the first in which the two sides haven't met, breaking a 65-year tradition.

Contracts are reportedly being drawn up, and it shouldn't be long before they're completed and an official announcement ensues.

The two former WCHA members are both joining different leagues this year, with Minnesota now a part of the new Big Ten Conference, while UND is heading to the newly formed NCHC.

A big reason for the break in the annual matchups is because of UND's former nickname, the Fighting Sioux. The U of M has a clause that prohibits teams from playing schools with Native American nicknames out of conference.

#7 UND opens their season Sunday against the University Manitoba in an exhibition contest, and the #6 Gophers are in action Saturday night against the University of Lethbridge in an exhibition game.

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