As of Jan. 1, the University of North Dakota is dropping its Fighting Sioux nickname. But supporters are not giving up.

A group of them, including the Spirit Lake Sioux Tribe, recently asked a Grand Forks district judge to be permitted to circulate a petition during the UND-Harvard series on Friday and Saturday inside Ralph Engelstad Arena.

A judge denied it, but said she would schedule another hearing in early January on whether the petition could be circulating at future WCHA series, including the Gophers visit on Jan. 13-14 in Grand Forks.

The petition asks for a statewide vote on the issue. The Grand Forks Herald story is here


Jared Festler scored two goals, including the game-winner with 3:05 left on a power play, as St. Cloud State beat No. 8 Western Michigan 4-2 at the National Hockey Center. Festler's second goal broke a 2-2 tie.

Travis Novak added an empty-netter for the Huskies with one second left. Nic Dowd had the other goal for SCSU.

Defenseman Nick Jensen had three assists for the Huskies; freshman goalie Ryan Faragher made 29 saves in the win.

On Wednesday, SCSU added a forward to its roster, Joe Rehkamp, but he did not play against the Broncos. Rehkamp had eight goals and six assists for 14 points for Waterloo in 23 USHL games. Without him, the Huskies were down to 12 healthy forwards because two players are injured and another left the team. The 5-11, 180-pound Rehkamp played four seasons for Breck in high school.


Michigan State beat Michigan Tech 3-1 on the first day of the Great Lakes Invitational in Detroit. The Huskies outshot MUS 46-26, but Drew Palmisano made 45 saves for the Spartans.

Ryan Furne cut Michigan State's lead to 2-1 at 7:28 of the third period but Tech was not able to score another goal and the Spartans added an empty-netter.

There was some good news for Tech. Junior defenseman Tommy Brown, out since being injured the first weekend of the season, returned to the lineup. And junior forward Chad Pietila, after sitting out a year because he transferred from Northern Michigan, began eligible. Pietila has a brother and a cousin on the Huskies.

 * The U.S. national team beat the Czech Republic 5-1 on Thursuday in its opening game of the Under-17 World Challenge in Windsor, Ontario. It plays Russia on Friday. Forward Hudson Fasching, who recently committed to the Gophers, had an assist for the U.S. against the Czechs.