UND hockey lines up series against first-time opponent
The Fighting Hawks have already set two series for the 2025-26 season. One is a familiar opponent. One is new.
GRAND FORKS — UND's nonconference schedule is already set for the next two seasons.
The Fighting Hawks have started work on 2025-26, too.
UND has signed two series for that season already. One is against a familiar opponent. One will be a first-time foe.
The Fighting Hawks will play Bemidji State in a home-and-away series, continuing the longtime U.S. Highway 2 rivalry between the teams.
They'll also play Mercyhurst of Atlantic Hockey — a team UND has never played in program history.
The Lakers, based out of Erie, Pa., are one of just eight NCAA Division-I teams who have never played against UND.
The others are Lindenwood, UConn, Bentley, RIT, Sacred Heart and Division-I newcomers Long Island University and St. Thomas. The Fighting Hawks will play Lindenwood for the first time on Jan. 6-7.
Mercyhurst has played at the Division-I level since 1999, when it moved up from Division II.
The Lakers have reached the NCAA tournament three times at the Division-I level — 2001, 2003 and 2005.
Their head coach, Rick Gotkin, is the longest-tenured coach in Division-I hockey. He started at Mercyhurst in 1988, when the Lakers were still at the Division-III level. He oversaw their transition to Division II, then Division I.
The series with the Lakers is scheduled to be just a two-game set in Grand Forks. No return trip is planned to Erie.
UND has already set its nonconference schedule for 2023-24 and 2024-25.
In 2023-24, UND plays in the Ice Breaker Tournament in Grand Forks against Wisconsin and Army. It has two-game home series against Bemidji State, Minnesota, Minnesota State-Mankato and Alaska (Fairbanks). On the road, the Fighting Hawks will play a two-game series against Boston University at Agganis Arena.
In 2024-25, UND plays in the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Game against Providence in Grand Forks. It has two-game home series against Boston University and Robert Morris. It will play two-game road series against MSU-Mankato and Cornell. The Fighting Hawks also will play Bemidji State in a home-and-away series.