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Getting To Know Your Opposition: University of North Dakota

The University of North Dakota is located just across the Red River from Minnesota in Grand Forks. Their sports teams are nicknamed the Fighting Sioux, at least for now, and play in a $110 million state of the art arena (every seat is leather and has granite floors), named after Ralph Engelstad  (the man who donated the $110 million). 

Both teams share a mutual hatred of each other, as shown by the Gophers SB Nation blog The Daily Gopher:

This year COULD be about crushing the Sue and getting back to the top of the conference and the college hockey world where the Minnesota Gopher program belongs. The Gophs had a stellar first month against a weak schedule (just one top 20 opponent in UMD) while UND struggled against a tougher slate- loss to #1 BC at home, win and tie against #20 Maine, swept at the Kohl Center by Bucky, and a split last weekend with...St Cloud State? AT HOME?!? You do not lose at the soon-to-be Sioux-less Ralph!

Watch this for a gentle reminder on how a Sioux fan reacts to Michigan at the Frozen Four. That one just never gets old...

Words of love and words every Gophers fan (including this writer) can agree. The video is great too.

Minnesota leads the overall series between the two teams 140-128-14. Unfortunately after decades of being in the WCHA together, there are only two more seasons before Minnesota leaves for the Big Ten Hockey Conference and North Dakota joins the newly-create NCHC. Of course that won't stop UND fans from hating Minnesota and here's what their blogosphere and mainstream media has to say.

Gopher Sports has an interview with Grand Forks Herald beat writer Brad Schlossman which gives a lot of insight into how North Dakota has played.

Over at the Sioux Blog, they make it personal about Minnesota's women and obsession with North Dakota (in a long blog which has everything to do with the Gophers and nothing to do with UND).

This weekend’s series is being played at Mariucci Arena, and whether you’re watching it on TV or going in person, don’t be fooled: it’s not that full all the time. It only seems that way because the only time UND fans pay attention to Minnesota is when the two teams play, and the only time Minnesota fans go to games is when the two teams play. What you’ll also notice is that the ice sheet at Mariucci is so large you can barely see the fans across the ice. And thank god because have you seen U of M girls? However, you can still hold a perfectly normal conversation with one of them from your seat, given that it is usually as quiet as a church service in there (assuming said fan can understand vocabulary above an elementary school level). In fact, when checking how often Minnesota fans talk about North Dakota compared to the inverse, you’d think that it was UND who was the Big 10 school and Minnesota was the school only good at one sport. (Well, that’s half right: the Gophers have a pretty bad ass women’s hockey team)

Finally, Goon's World brings up Dave Hakstol's record against the Gophers and the fact that neither team has won a national championship since he has taken over in 2004-2005. He also brings up his favorite UND goal on the Gophers, which surprisingly is not Robbie Bina on Jeff Frazee but Evan Trupp on Alex Kangas.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.