There aren’t many rivalry games around the nation this weekend, but the best rivalry in America is on tap as the Minnesota Golden Gophers make the 5 hour (or so) trip northwest to Grand Forks to visit the North Dakota Fighting Sioux. Because of the proximity of the two states, families are torn during this time of year. The fans in Ralph Engelstad Arena scream obscenities at the Gopher players, refs, and any unfortunate fans who get in the way.
This year’s series have some connections between the schools. I doubt the players will be so buddy buddy when lining up across from one another.
More than a hockey game played on the ice, this series is a game played between two fanbases of distinctly different background. The University of Minnesota is one of the top 10 most attended colleges in the country, with just over 60,000 students. They are a Big 10 school, and one of the most successful athletic institutions in the country. The football team has won 6 national titles, the basketball team has won 2, and the hockey team 5. They are regularly towards the top of the Sears Cup standings. The University of North Dakota, on the other hand, is a 13,000 student school whose identity is hockey. One Division 2 national championship in football, but they hang their hat on their 7 national titles in hockey, tied for 2nd most nationally. Beating the Gophers is some sort of little brother/big brother complex. Needless to say, good times abound.
After the jump, some videos of great moments in the rivalry’s history.