Twins President Dave St. Peter is a proud UND alum and, if not for Josh Duhamel, he might be starring in a series of advertisements touting North Dakota. It should be noted at the outset here that I’m also a North Dakota native.
That said, I imagine the ire of some Gophers fans will be raised with news that the Twins are slated to honor the NCAA champion North Dakota men’s hockey team before Sunday’s game against Toronto at Target Field.
Yes, that is the same Target Field in downtown Minneapolis, a few miles from Mariucci Arena and the home of the Gophers.
Most people probably won’t notice. Many won’t care. Some will celebrate it.
It is worth mentioning that many people in North Dakota are Twins fans. It’s also worth noting that the organization in past years has honored national champs from across Twins Territory, including Minnesota-Duluth men’s hockey in 2011. The North Dakota State football team is slated to be honored June 4.
Still, the die-hard Gophers fans — and maybe even some Minnesotans in general — will almost certainly care. After all, even though the Gophers and UND are no longer in the same men’s hockey conference, there is a decades-old rivalry and history of bad blood between the bases.
Per a UND news release, the ceremony prior to the 1:10 p.m. game will start at 12:45 and will include a video of the Fighting Hawks’ championship run and video introduction of every player on the team. Head coach Brad Berry will throw out the first pitch.
“We are extremely grateful and honored to have received this invitation from Dave St. Peter, a loyal and proud UND alum,” Berry said in a quote from the release. “This will provide a terrific opportunity for our many alumni and fans in the Twin Cities area to come celebrate with us one more time. Our players and staff are looking forward to a great day at Target Field.”