Minnesota, North Dakota hockey to renew rivalry, face off in Las Vegas

Minnesota and North Dakota are taking their college hockey rivalry to Las Vegas in 2018

Chris Szagola/AP

The Minnesota Gophers are set to renew one of the oldest rivalries in college hockey next season, but they’ll be taking things a step further in 2018.

Minnesota and former WCHA rival North Dakota will play in the 2018 U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Game in Las Vegas on Oct. 27, 2018, according to a press release issued by the University of Minnesota, the latest milestone in a rivalry that stretches back to the 1930s.

The formation of the Big Ten hockey conference separated the two college powers in 2013, putting a rivalry that had flourished in the WCHA on hold, but a four-year scheduling agreement that begins in 2019 is set to keep the schools competing for at least the next seven years.

The two teams are scheduled to play during the regular season for the first time since the split this November, when the Fighting Hawks travel to Mariucci Arena, before playing a two-game series at Ralph Engelstad Arena during the 2017-18 season.

"This is both a great experience for our student-athletes and an opportunity to grow the game in a non-traditional college hockey market," Gophers coach Don Lucia said in a statement. "Taking our rivalry with North Dakota to Las Vegas will be great for both programs, our fans and college hockey, and we are certainly looking forward to it."

The Gophers and the Fighting Hawks have met 291 times over the years, including their most recent meeting, a 2-1 Minnesota win in the 2014 NCAA Frozen Four.