Rivalry is one word that gets thrown around in the sports world a lot, but no rivalry is better, well maybe for the fans, then the rivalry on the ice between the University of North Dakota and the University of Minnesota. Although things have parted ways on the men’s side of things, the women still share the same conference and get to give fans a taste of this great rivalry for at least two series a year.

This weekend, the Golden Gophers make the trek to Grand Forks to battle UND in what should be a tough series for both teams. Minnesota has not shown the dominant firepower like in years past this season, but still winning in much closer contests, being much stingier on the defensive side of the puck. With one loss this season, The first place Gophers look to extend their seven-point WCHA lead once this weekend is over, but North Dakota is getting hot and will give Minnesota a handful this weekend at home.

Shelby Amsley-Benzie (UND - 1) has recorded 3 shutouts in her last 6 games

Shelby Amsley-Benzie (UND – 1) has recorded 3 shutouts in her last 6 games

North Dakota has been one of the hottest teams in the country since the final weekend before the holiday break going 8-1-1 with one conference shootout victory in Duluth last weekend and much of that is due to the success of goaltender Shelby Amsley-Benzie. With her three shutouts since the turn of the year, she is backstopping North Dakota to a stretch run to remember. With UND currently sitting fourth in the WCHA, they would be playing Ohio State in the first round of the playoffs at home this year as things sit right now, but there are three weeks left this season so a lot can change by then. Another thing UND has at their advantage, if they make it that far, is this year’s WCHA Final Face-Off is at Ralph Engelstad Arena this year, so home ice could lead them into the NCAA tournament if they were able to win out.

With UND currently sitting fourth in the WCHA, they would be playing Ohio State in the first round of the playoffs at home this year as things sit right now, but there are three weeks left this season so a lot can change by then. Another thing UND has at their advantage, if they make it that far, is this year’s WCHA Final Face-Off is at Ralph Engelstad Arena this year, so home ice could lead them into the NCAA tournament if they were able to win out.

With UND currently sitting fourth in the WCHA, they would be playing Ohio State in the first round of the playoffs at home this year as things sit right now, but there are three weeks left this season so a lot can change by then. Another thing UND has at their advantage, if they make it that far, is this year’s WCHA Final Face-Off is at Ralph Engelstad Arena this year, so home ice could lead them into the NCAA tournament if they were able to win out.

This Weekend’s battle between these two conference foes will be two hard fought contests and with a momentum train going UND’s way right now, there could possibly be an upset at the Ralph this weekend. I am predicting a series split with both games being decided by 2 goals or under, three if there is an empty net goal involved.

Friday night at Ralph Engelstad Arena tickets are just $1 for the general public as they try to break their attendance record from last year. If you like hockey and are in the area, go check this game out, it will be worth your while.

About The Author

Born and raised in the State of Hockey. Have been around the game for as long as I can remember and have been playing goalie for 12 years. Attending the University of North Dakota as a communications major with hopes to cover the NHL, or NCAA, hockey someday

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