As of Wednesday, there were about 8,500 two-day packages sold for the West Regional on Saturday and Sunday, according to Garry Bowman, director of communications for the University of Minnesota and one of three media coordinators for this event.

"It [ticket sales] are going OK, but with Minnesota and North Dakota in it, we were hoping we'd be a little better at this point," he said.

Bowman said he still expects more than 10,000 ticket packages to be sold, which are good for all three games. The price is $94, or just over $30 per game.

What about single-day tickets? Bowman said the decision whether to sell them or not is up to the local organizing committee. The Xcel Energy Center and the University of Minnesota are the regional's co-hosts.

In 2010, when the X had a regional and St. Cloud State was the only in-state team in the field along with Wisconsin, Northern Michigan and Vermont, a decision was made mid-week to sell single-session tickets, one for the first day, one for the second.

In 2011 when the Frozen Four was at the X, single-session tickets were not sold.

Presumably, the local organizing committee could decide either Friday or Saturday to sell single-session tickets. But the cost per game of those tickets would be higher than it is with a two-day package, Bowman said. Which makes sense, otherwise those who bought their $94 two-day packages would be unhappy.

If single-day tickets do become available, Saturday's ticket would include both games because there is only an hour break between them. Not enough time to clear the building and bring in another crowd.


Since Don Lucia became the Gophers' coach in 1999-2000, his teams have met North Dakota in the WCHA or NCAA playoffs seven  times in 13 years.

Here are the details.

2002: Gophers beat UND 7-2 and 4-3 in OT at Mariucci in first round of WCHA playoffs. ... UND's season over

2004: Gophers beat North Dakota 5-4 in Final Five championship game ... both advanced to NCAAs

2005: North Dakota beats Gophers 4-2 in Final Five championship game and 4-2 in Frozen Four semifinals in Columbus, Ohio ... Gophers' season over

2007 Gophers beat North Dakota 3-2 in overtime in Final Five championship game, but lose 2-3 in overtime in West Regional final in Denver ... Gophers' season over

2010: North Dakota beats Gophers 6-0, 2-4, 4-1 in first round of the WCHA playoffs ... Gophers' season over

2011: Are they on a collision course in the West Regional?

To sum up, the Gophers and UND are 5-5 in the playoffs since Lucia became the U's coach. Three times UND ended the Gophers' season; the Gophers did the same once to the Fighting Sioux.