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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Los Angeles - LP: B. Wilson 7 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: J. Grimm 8
Detroit - WP: M. Scherzer 3 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: J. Shields 2
Philadelphia 0 Top 4th Inning
Oakland 0
Toronto 1 Top 4th Inning
NY Yankees 1
Arizona 0 Top 4th Inning
Colorado 4
Boston - R. De La Rosa 6:05 PM
Baltimore - C. Tillman
Milwaukee - M. Garza 6:05 PM
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Cincinnati - M. Leake 6:15 PM
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San Diego - A. Cashner
Texas - C. Lewis 8:05 PM
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Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
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Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
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Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
Connecticut 14 FINAL
So Florida 17
Old Dominion 45 FINAL
Rice 42
Troy 0 FINAL
(13) Georgia 66
Georgia Tech 27 FINAL
Virginia Tech 24
Eastern Mich 14 FINAL
(11) Michigan State 73
Iowa 24 FINAL
Pittsburgh 20
Bowling Green 17 FINAL
(19) Wisconsin 68
Maryland 34 FINAL
Syracuse 20
Tulane 13 FINAL
Duke 47
Hawaii 12 4th Qtr 5:52
Colorado 21
Marshall 41 4th Qtr 10:35
Akron 3
Army 21 3rd Qtr
Wake Forest 14
Virginia 16 3rd Qtr
(21) BYU 13
Central Mich 3 3rd Qtr
Kansas 7
Utah 13 3rd Qtr
Michigan 10
North Carolina 20 2nd Qtr 5:11
East Carolina 21
(6) Texas A&M 38 2nd Qtr 0:21
SMU 3
Rutgers 24 2nd Qtr 0:27
Navy 14
Florida 14 2nd Qtr 6:15
(3) Alabama 21
Louisville 7 1st Qtr 4:04
FIU 0
Texas State 14 Delayed 13:35
Illinois 6
Fla Atlantic 3 2nd Qtr 4:00
Wyoming 10
Indiana 14 2nd Qtr 8:00
(18) Missouri 7
San Jose St 7 2nd Qtr 1:15
Minnesota 10
Massachusetts 0 2nd Qtr 7:00
Penn State 20
Georgia State 5:00 PM
Washington
Appalachian St 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 6:00 PM
Arkansas
Middle Tennessee 6:00 PM
Memphis
Utah State 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Idaho 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 6:00 PM
Toledo
(14) So Carolina 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(25) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(12) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:00 AM
NC State
Duke 9/27/14 2:00 AM
Miami-Florida
North Carolina 9/27/14 2:00 AM
(22) Clemson
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(20) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Kentucky
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Indiana
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Virginia
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Louisville
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
UAB
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
California
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Kansas
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Connecticut
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
Washington
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(23) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
(18) Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(14) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
ULM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(8) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Utah
(9) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Syracuse
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(17) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Vancouver FC 4:00 PM
Portland
Houston 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
New England 6:30 PM
Columbus
San Jose 6:30 PM
Montreal
Seattle 6:30 PM
Red Bull New York
D.C. 7:30 PM
Chicago
FC Dallas 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Toronto 40 FINAL
Brt Columbia 23
Edmonton 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
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Edmonton
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Winnipeg
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
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Date/Opponent 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.
Sep 27 - at Michigan TBA
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern TBA
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 am
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 am
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa TBA
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State TBA
Nov 22 - at Nebraska TBA
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin TBA

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