Rand: A strange college hockey weekend ahead

  • Updated: March 19, 2014 - 10:05 PM

For all the fretting about the first year of the Big Split in men’s college hockey, the 2013-14 regular season really wasn’t all that bad — at least if you follow the Gophers (and therefore believe you are the center of the college hockey universe).

There was an early series at Bemidji State, home series against Minnesota State Mankato and Minnesota Duluth, the outdoor Hockey City Classic and North Star Cup games against Minnesota Duluth and St. Cloud State. Four games against Wisconsin and Michigan, along with the rest of the Big Ten slate, filled out the schedule rather nicely.

But now ... this is the time of year when we really start to feel the void. More specifically, this weekend is just going to feel flat-out weird. There’s just no other way to put it.

Minnesota and Wisconsin are playing at Xcel Energy Center with the rest of the Big Ten teams in their postseason tournament. North Dakota is across the river at Target Center in the first National Collegiate Hockey Conference tournament. Minnesota State is out in Michigan for (what’s left of) the WCHA tournament. St. Cloud State and Minnesota Duluth are at home, ousted in first-round NCHC series.

Five of those six teams — and their glorious, sparring fan bases — were in St. Paul last year for the old WCHA’s farewell tournament.

The WCHA Final Five was a destination event for the nation’s best conference. It was a battle for regional bragging rights, with alcohol — for better or worse — fueling some increasingly loud debates among passionate fans.

Now there are even separate drinking rules. It’s pretty much wide open with the NCHC at Target Center — beer, wine and alcohol sold in all concourses. At Xcel Energy Center for the Big Ten, such beverages will only be sold on the club level, the Budweiser Fan Zone and a plaza near Gate 1 (though all ticketed fans have access to the club level).

My sincere hope is that Gophers fans and North Dakota fans still find a way to mingle, joined by a common love of rivalry instead of separated by a river. Maybe they could even meet halfway Friday — I mapped it, and the Dubliner is about 5 miles from both arenas — after both teams play?

Yes, the tournaments need a chance to evolve and new rivalries a chance to develop. But as someone who has spent almost exactly the same amount of his life living in Grand Forks and Minneapolis, recognizing the need for patience won’t make this weekend any less strange.

michael rand

  • related content

  • They came to Xcel for the party in March 2012, and at numerous WCHA Final Fives before that. But the formation of new conferences means the region’s passionate college hockey legions won’t be able to gather and celebrate in unison again.

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Philadelphia 12/20/14 3:30 PM
Washington
San Diego 12/20/14 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
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Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
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Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
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New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
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NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Oakland
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Arizona
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Cincinnati
Utah 100 4th Qtr 0:40
Orlando 94
Charlotte 104 4th Qtr 1:53
Philadelphia 85
Brooklyn 69 3rd Qtr 2:06
Cleveland 72
Washington 74 3rd Qtr 1:02
Miami 77
Minnesota 83 4th Qtr 8:53
Boston 90
Toronto 81 4th Qtr
Detroit 70
Chicago 51 3rd Qtr
Memphis 43
Portland 44 3rd Qtr
San Antonio 46
LA Clippers 8 1st Qtr 7:11
Denver 10
Oklahoma City 9:30 PM
LA Lakers
Tampa Bay 1 3rd Prd 8:43
New Jersey 2
Anaheim 1 3rd Prd
Ottawa 4
NY Islanders 2 3rd Prd
Detroit 1
Boston 1 2nd Prd 9:46
Winnipeg 1
Dallas 0 1st Prd 13:59
Calgary 0
Wilberforce 71 FINAL
Youngstown St 92
Jackson State 49 FINAL
Tulane 56
Siena 66 FINAL
Radford 76
Stillman 49 FINAL
Alabama 69
Case Western Reserve 65 FINAL
Bucknell 88
Niagara 62 FINAL
Buffalo 88
SD Christian 46 FINAL
UC Santa Barbara 69
Concordia (MI) 60 FINAL
Central Mich 97
Northern Ill 55 FINAL
Dartmouth 58
North Florida 83 FINAL
Florida A&M 65
Hiwassee 71 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 91
Tennessee St 54 FINAL
Hampton 66
NC A&T 57 FINAL
Kent State 71
Central Penn College 65 FINAL
Liberty 94
Eastern Ky 72 FINAL
Miami-Florida 44
Northern Ky 83 FINAL
Morehead State 60
Northern Ariz 62 FINAL
Norfolk State 81
MD-Eastern Shore 43 FINAL
Old Dominion 60
St Marys-CA 47 FINAL
St Johns 53
Clemson 45 FINAL
South Carolina 68
Tenn Tech 58 FINAL
Tennessee 61
Washington-MD 46 FINAL
William & Mary 86
Bethune-Cookman 44 2nd Half 2:20
Mercer 64
Furman 54 2nd Half 5:31
Fla Gulf Coast 67
South Dakota St 53 FINAL
CS-Bakersfield 49
Milligan 31 2nd Half 15:49
Lamar 55
LSU-Alexandria 44 2nd Half 11:26
ULM 48
Southern Utah 34 2nd Half 14:16
Loyola-Chicago 50
Chattanooga 31 2nd Half 14:05
Middle Tennessee 39
Seattle 21 2nd Half 20:00
Minnesota 43
Lipscomb 42 2nd Half 13:20
Princeton 55
Winthrop 41 2nd Half 14:20
SE Louisiana 56
Dickinson State 25 2nd Half 13:54
North Dakota 45
New Orleans 27 2nd Half 15:06
Southern Ill 36
TX-Pan American 5 1st Half 13:30
Creighton 12
Colorado State 14 1st Half 12:50
Denver 16
Alabama A&M 7 1st Half 11:56
Marquette 14
Ark-Pine Bluff 6 1st Half 15:12
Texas Tech 8
Eastern Wash 9:00 PM
California
Idaho State 9:05 PM
Utah State
Arizona 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Hawaii 10:59 PM
Chaminade
Nevada 12/20/14 10:00 AM
Louisiana
Utah State 12/20/14 1:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
(23) Utah 12/20/14 2:30 PM
Colorado State
Western Mich 12/20/14 4:45 PM
Air Force
South Alabama 12/20/14 8:15 PM
Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Memphis
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Rice
Illinois 12/26/14 12:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Rutgers 12/26/14 3:30 PM
North Carolina
NC State 12/26/14 7:00 PM
UCF
Ohio Valley 33 FINAL
Youngstown St 84
East Tenn St 48 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 61
Cal-Irvine 44 FINAL
Purdue 69
Campbell 63 FINAL
Stetson 76
Jacksonville St 70 FINAL
Charleston Southern 43
Louisiana 64 FINAL
Alcorn State 57
Denver 63 FINAL
Wright State 72
Blue Mountain 30 FINAL
Central Arkansas 71
Texas State 51 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 40
Albany 62 FINAL
Pepperdine 36
TX-San Antonio 53 FINAL
Houston 56
Yale 66 FINAL
Bucknell 73
Northern Colorado 56 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 69
Belmont 86 FINAL
Mercer 83
Massachusetts 66 FINAL
Georgia State 71
George Mason 69 FINAL
Winthrop 57
Portland State 33 FINAL
Princeton 104
UCLA 71 FINAL
Samford 52
Mobile 30 FINAL
Alabama State 66
Nicholls 49 FINAL
Texas Tech 76
Toledo 65 FINAL
Nevada 56
UMass Lowell 48 FINAL
(13) Duke 95
St Marys-CA 49 FINAL
Virginia 62
McNeese State 55 FINAL
Rice 57
McMurry 49 FINAL
Houston Baptist 69
NJIT 62 FINAL
Seton Hall 74
(6) North Carolina 65 FINAL
Maine 36
Lafayette 58 FINAL
Stony Brook 60
Siena 62 FINAL
Binghamton 53
Longwood 56 FINAL
Clemson 72
Savannah State 51 FINAL
Florida State 97
(19) Syracuse 72 FINAL
(9) Baylor 74
Buffalo 68 FINAL
Manhattan 58
Canisius 43 FINAL
Michigan 79
Northern Ky 63 FINAL
Delaware 58
Davidson 66 2nd Half 0:18
NC State 82
Saint Louis 71 2nd Half 5:08
Austin Peay 71
(25) DePaul 64 2nd Half 1:52
(2) Connecticut 96
Ohio U 70 2nd Half 2:29
La Salle 60
Florida Atlantic 44 2nd Half 12:30
Long Beach St 53
Miami-Florida 28 2nd Half
Tulane 29
Miss Valley St 27 2nd Half 10:45
Memphis 41
Ark-Pine Bluff 41 2nd Half 8:50
UAB 52
Bowling Green 41 2nd Half 10:59
Illinois State 38
Arkansas State 42 2nd Half 12:54
Missouri State 41
ULM 25 2nd Half 14:33
Wichita State 36
(16) Oregon State 10 1st Half 10:56
Southern Ill 12
Utah Valley U 8:30 PM
Montana
Pacific 9:00 PM
New Mexico St
No Dakota State 9:00 PM
Cal State Fullerton
Utah State 9:00 PM
Sacramento St
Bethesda (CA) 9:00 PM
Fresno State
LSU 9:30 PM
UC Santa Barbara
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<
Gophers Football Time W L Score
2014 season     
Aug 28 - vs. E. Illinois 6 pmX42-20
Sep 6 - vs. M. Tennessee St. 2:30 pmX35-24
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pmX30-7
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. 3 p.m.X24-7
Sep 27 - at Michigan 2:30 pmX30-14
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern 11 amX24-17
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 amX39-38
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 amX28-24
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa 11 amX51-14
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State 11 amX31-24
Nov 22 - at Nebraska 11 amX28-24
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin 2:30 pmX34-24
Jan 1 - vs. Missouri noon

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