The North Dakota Fighting Sioux did not play at Mariucci last season and won't be back next season.
So if people want to boo -- or cheer -- them, this weekend is the lone opportunity in a while. Up to now with a 10-team league, the Gophers played Wisconsin home and home every season because the Badgers were there scheduling partner. The other nine teams visited Mariucci three of every four years.
Now, with a 12-team conference starting in 2010-11, Wisconsin remains the Gophers' scheduling partner but other teams will visit just three times in five years.
I was at the last Gophers-Fighting Sioux series at Mariucci on Feb. 1-2, 2008. It was my first year on the beat and that series was pretty memorable. Here are a few highlights:
First game, Friday
North Dakota 2, Gophers 1, overtime
Fighting Sioux outshoot the U 4-0 in overtime and win on a crazy play. A teammate flips the puck over the net and freshman center Evan Trupp dives and hits it in midair. Goal came against Alex Kangas 2:23 into extra period.
The victory was North Dakota's eighth in a row in the WCHA.
Shots were 34-22 in the Sioux's favor. North Dakota was rated No. 3, the Gophers No. 18.
Second game, Saturday
Gophers 1, North Dakota 1, overtime, tie
Junior wing Ryan Duncan of the Sioux received a game disqualification 7 seconds in for checking from behind.
The game was scoreless until the third period. Senior Ben Gordon scored for the Gophers at 7:17, Chris VancdeVelde for the Sioux at 11:14.
Both teams had three shots in scoreless overtime. Overall, Gophers had slight edge in shots, 30-28.
In handshake line, Joe Finley of Sioux grabbed Blake Wheeler's jersey and started brawl. There were 34 penalties in game -- 17 on each side -- totalling 160 penalties minutes, 91 on Sioux.
"At the end, I think both teams were mad we tied," VandeVelde said.
North Dakota coach Dave Hakstol received a two-game suspension from his school for making an obscene gesture to referees caught on TV. He also said a few unprintable words. Hakstol apologized.
With antics like that, that is why most Gophers fans would love to see the Sioux play at Mariucci every season.