Roman Augustoviz, The Roman Empire --- These strong rivals will not meet in the regular season again until the 2016-17 season, according to what Gophers coach Don Lucia said on his weekly radio show on Monday.I think keeping this rivalry series alive, is a no-brainer I don’t know any UND fans that want this historic rivalry to end. In my humble opinion, this is one of the great rivalries in college hockey. I read some statements from Minnesota Gopher fans this past week that are head scratchers; do they really want to watch a tame, unexciting series where there is no emotion on the ice? That's what you're going to get with Penn State and Ohio State.
"We are going to get them the first available opportunity back on our schedule," Lucia said.
That opportunity won't come until the 2016-17 season. Yikes. Of course, they could meet in the NCAA tournament, but that's not a given.
Next season the Gophers will be in the new six-team Big Ten Conference, UND in the new eight-team National Collegiate Hockey Conference.
Lucia said the Gophers couldn't schedule North Dakota as a nonconference opponent because, at the time the current agreements were being made, UND still had an American Indian nickname. (The U of M has a policy prohibiting its teams from playing nonconference opponents with such nicknames. Now, of course, UND has dropped its Fighting Sioux nickname.)
If you ask the players, they love playing in these games; I have never heard any of them say that they don’t want to play Minnesota. The UND vs. UMN games for the players, is one of these series that they look forward to. I have hard them say this at the Wednesday press conferences.
This was one of my favorite statements this week, was from a fan on Gopher Puck Live. From a random fan said… “The Gophers are the better team this year, but if North Dakota is allowed to do their usual after the whistle shenanigans I can see this series getting dirty again. I totally understand why Lucia is avoiding playing the dirty Canadians after this season. Why risk one of your star players getting injured over some North Dakota cheap shot.”
By some of the comments I have read this week, you’d think that UND was a bunch of talentless hacks that have a 5-11-2 record and have yet to win a game against an opponent with a winning record. From some of the comments I have read, you'd think that UND spends all of their time skating up and down the ice taking liberties with the opposition. That hasn't happened this season. This year’s UND hockey team is not a bunch of knuckle dragging Nethanderals, UND is only ranked 30th nationally in penalties. So that dog doesn't hunt.
Maybe some need to look up the word rivalry in the dictionary.
I did and this is what Merriam-Webster has to say; a competitive or antagonistic state or condition. That would probably be an accurate definition of the UND vs. UMN rivalry.