The Gophers-North Dakota rivalry in men’s hockey will resume in the 2016-17 season. The two schools have agreed to a two-year deal. UND will play at Mariucci Arena the first season, then the Gophers will play at Ralph Engelstad Arena in 2017-18.
“We’re thrilled to officially get North Dakota back on our schedule and to renew one of the greatest rivalries in our sport,” Gophers coach Don Lucia said in a news release.
“This is a rivalry that our fans, alumni and team look forward to renewing,” UND coach Dave Hakstol. “It is one of the most heated in all of college sports.”
The teams battled each year from 1948 to 2013 before conference realignment put the rivalry on a three-year hiatus.
• Gophers fans will be able to watch Minnesota and Notre Dame next weekend — the nation’s No. 1 and 2 teams this week — in South Bend, Ind. The first game will be on the NBC Sports Network, the second will be streamed on NBCSports.com. Hockey East, the Irish’s conference, announced those coverage plans after Minnesota’s TV schedule was released.
U soccer loses at home
Illinois scored two goals in the 75th and 76th minute to defeat the Gophers 3-1 on Thursday in Big Ten women’s soccer at Robbie Stadium in Falcon Heights. Casey Conine had the winning goal, which was followed by an own goal.
Haley Helverson scored for the Gophers (11-6-2, 4-5-2) in the 53rd minute, but the Illini (10-7-2, 4-5-1) tied the score at 1-1 on Jannelle Flaws’ goal in the 68th minute.
The loss in the Gophers’ regular-season finale dropped them into a tie for sixth place in the Big Ten.
Winning streak on line
The No. 1-ranked Gophers women’s hockey team, which has a 57-game winning streak, will play Minnesota State Mankato in a home-and-home WCHA series this weekend.
The opener will be at 7 p.m. Friday at Ridder Arena, the second game at 3 p.m. Saturday at All Seasons Arena in Mankato. Minnesota (8-0-0, 6-0-0) has won the past 16 games with the Mavericks (3-5-0, 0-4-0).
A little bit of Sochi
The U.S. Olympic Committee’s “Road to Sochi’’ tour, which features interactive sports exhibits and athlete appearances, will come to the Mall of America on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The tour will stop in 13 cities to generate support for the U.S. athletes competing in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Three-time Olympic luger Tony Benshoof of White Bear Lake and 2010 Olympic curler Allison Pottinger of Eden Prairie will appear at the event.