Hundreds of University of North Dakota hockey fans whooped it up in downtown Grand Forks in celebration of their men’s team capturing the NCAA title Saturday night, but no arrests were made.
In the 30 to 45 minutes that the pride-filled UND faithful expressed itself en masse, police noted that streets were blocked at times.
North Dakota rolled to the title with a 5-1 victory in Tampa, Fla., over top-seeded Quinnipiac. Moments later, according to a police summary issued Sunday morning, “calls for service … began to increase at a rate somewhat higher than normal.”
Officers first fixed their collective attention on a large crowd blocking traffic on N. 3rd Street downtown Grand Forks. That’s where they found 300 to 500 people in an intersection.
“For the most part, the crowd was generally well behaved, with only a few instances of disorderly behavior,” a statement from police read. “Officers monitored the crowd for traffic safety purposes but were not required to take enforcement action against individuals. No arrests resulted from the gathering.”
“Let’s go Sioux!” was a favorite chant among the young revelers, a reference to UND’s recently dispatched nickname in favor of a more NCAA-friendly Fighting Hawks.
It wasn’t long before “the crowd dispersed on its own,” police added.
Later, calls came into police about drunken people being noisy while walking through residential neighborhoods from downtown to the campus, police said.
Some sporadic vandalism was reported, according to authorities, most notably when a group of people tipped a Prius onto its side. The car was left with moderate damage. Another vehicle was slightly banged up. Police said they are looking for suspects in both cases.
College hockey fans in Minneapolis have been much rowdier over the years. After the Minnesota Gophers defeated UND in the semifinal of the Frozen Four, at least nine students were arrested during a wild street celebration in Dinkytown. Members of that jubilant crowd climbed light poles, clambered on top of a police cruiser and threw bottles.
Social media lit up with videos and pictures of the excitement followed by law breaking. Officers responded by firing tear gas and paintball guns into crowds of students. Two police officers were slightly hurt.
Even so, the unrest was a milder reprise of the mayhem near campus in 2002 and 2003, when the Gophers twice won the Frozen Four.