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Courtesy: UNDsports.com
UND will host Minnesota in the 2018 U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Game in Las Vegas.
Vegas, baby! UND to host Gophers in 2018 HOF game
Courtesy: Jayson Hajdu, UND Athletic Media Relations
Release: 07/27/2016
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LAS VEGAS – The University of North Dakota, in partnership with Ralph Engelstad Arena and the Orleans Arena, announced today that it will play host to the 2018 U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Game against the University of Minnesota at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas on S­aturday, Oct. 27, 2018.

The announcement was made jointly on Wednesday in Las Vegas by officials representing UND, the Orleans Arena and a special appearance by the Lieutenant Governor for the State of Nevada, Mark Hutchison.

“It doesn't get much better than this: a classic college hockey match-up between North Dakota and Minnesota in Las Vegas. What a great destination for our alumni and fans,” said UND Athletics Director Brian Faison. “And, thank you to the Ralph Engelstad Arena and the Orleans Arena for their partnership with UND in bringing the 2018 Hall of Fame Game to Las Vegas. We couldn't do it without their support.”

“We are extremely excited to be a part of a great college hockey marquee event,” said UND head coach Brad Berry. “This showcase game will give our players and our loyal fans an unforgettable experience and will hopefully continue to grow Division I hockey in the western United States, growth we’ve most recently seen with the NHL’s expansion into the great city of Las Vegas.”

Tickets will go on sale to the general public on Feb. 10, 2017 at 2 p.m. Central. A pre-sale will be available to North Dakota Champions Club members beginning at 10 a.m. Central on Jan. 9, 2017 through Feb. 9, 2017. Champions Club members will be provided with a unique and exclusive pre-sale code that can be used to purchase their tickets, or room and ticket packages, before the tickets are made available to the general public.

The University of Minnesota will also be provided with a limited number of tickets to sell exclusively to their fans.

All seats are $79, plus applicable ticketing charges.

Orleans Arena, located just west of the Las Vegas Strip and part of The Orleans Hotel and Casino, is one of the nation’s leading multi-purpose sports and entertainment facilities. According to Venues Today magazine, Orleans Arena consistently ranks in the Top 10 for ticket sales in the United States and internationally among venues of similar size, in addition to hosting more than 200 events each year. The capacity for a hockey game at the Orleans Arena is more than 7,400 seats. More information is available at www.OrleansArena.com.

The Orleans is owned by Boyd Gaming, one of the largest casino entertainment companies in the United States.

“Orleans Arena is no stranger to hosting top-notch collegiate sporting events and we are honored to host the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame game for the first time in the state of Nevada,” said Andre Filosi, Vice President and Assistant General Manager of The Orleans Hotel and Casino. “We look forward to welcoming the University of North Dakota and University of Minnesota teams and fans for what’s sure to be an unforgettable game in 2018.”

The North Dakota-Minnesota men’s hockey rivalry dates back to the 1947-48 season and has seen the two storied programs square off 284 times (Minnesota leads 139-130-15). The two teams, formerly longtime conference rivals, have combined to win 13 NCAA Division I men’s hockey championships, including eight by North Dakota (most recently in 2015-16) and five by the Golden Gophers.

UND’s men’s hockey program has sent 86 players to the National Hockey League, including current Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews and Hockey Hall of Fame inductee Ed Belfour. This past June, freshman forward Tyson Jost was selected 10th overall by the Colorado Avalanche at the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, making him UND’s 14th first-round pick since 2000.

Five UND products played professional hockey in Las Vegas, most recently Robbie Bina with the ECHL’s Las Vegas Wranglers in 2009-10. Additionally, Bob Joyce (1993-95), Nick Naumenko (1998-99), Russ Romaniuk (1997-99) and Paxton Schulte (1997-98) each played for the IHL’s Las Vegas Thunder.

For additional details, please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions link (PDF) under Related Links.

Additional Comments

Mark Coyle, University of Minnesota Athletics Director: “We are always interested in providing new and exciting experiences for our student-athletes and fans, and bringing one of college hockey’s best rivalries to Las Vegas certainly fits the bill. With these two programs facing off, you know you’re going to get a great game, and the University of Minnesota is excited to participate in a memorable event at Orleans Arena.”

Don Lucia, University of Minnesota Head Coach: “This is both a great experience for our student-athletes and an opportunity to grow the game in a non-traditional college hockey market. Taking our rivalry with North Dakota to Las Vegas will be great for both programs, our fans and college hockey, and we are certainly looking forward to it.”

Mike Snee, College Hockey, Inc. Executive Director: “This is another example of how college hockey continues to grow in our country, especially in the southwest. From Arizona State adding NCAA DI men’s hockey, the talented college players the southwestern states are now producing, and now Las Vegas hosting one of the most historic rivalries in the game, it’s exciting to think what might be next.”

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