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Men's College Hockey: Gophers, UND do get to battle one another after all

By Brad Schlossman

Forum News Service

So, the University of North Dakota and Minnesota will meet after all this season.

In the City of Brotherly Love, no less.

The longtime rivals, who were not on each other’s schedule for the first time since the 1940s this season, will take center stage at the NCAA Frozen Four in Philadelphia in two weeks, meeting in a primetime game at 7:30 p.m. on April 10 on ESPN2.

UND earned its spot in the Frozen Four with its dramatic double overtime victory over Ferris State on Saturday night in Cincinnati. Connor Gaarder scored the game-winning goal for UND.

On Sunday, the Gophers joined them by knocking out St. Cloud State with a 4-0 victory.

This will be the fourth meeting between UND and Minnesota in the NCAA tournament in the last 10 years.

UND beat the Gophers 4-2 in the 2005 Frozen Four semifinals and 3-2 in overtime in the 2007 West Regional final. Minnesota beat UND 5-2 in the 2012 West Regional final.

The last meeting between the teams came Jan. 19, 2013. The teams tied 4-4 in Minnesota’s Mariucci Arena.

Boston College and Union will join them in Philadelphia. The Eagles and Dutchmen will play at 4 p.m. on April 10 at Wells Fargo Center, the home of the Philadelphia Flyers.

Three teams in Philadelphia are No. 1 seeds — Minnesota, Boston College and Union. It is the first time in four years that three No. 1 seeds have reached the Frozen Four. Those teams have occupied the top three spots in the polls for the last two months.

UND is the darkhorse of the group. As a No. 4 seed, UND took out No. 1-seeded Wisconsin and No. 2-seeded Ferris State — both anchored by Hobey Baker Award finalist goaltenders — in the Midwest Regional.

Now in UND’s way is the third and final goaltender up for the Hobey Baker Award in Minnesota sophomore Adam Wilcox.

The teams are regulars in the Frozen Four, too.

In the last decade, UND and Boston College have reached the Frozen Four six times. Minnesota is third with three trips and six times are tied with two, including Union.

Brad Schlossman is a sports reporter at the Grand Forks Herald.