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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.

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Members of the UND Army ROTC rappelling team descend from the catwalk at Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks for the ceremonial puck drop prior to the men's hockey game between the Fighting Hawks and the Denver Pioneers on Friday, November 11, 2022.
Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald

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.

Schlossman has covered college hockey for the Grand Forks Herald since 2005. He has been recognized by the Associated Press Sports Editors as the top beat writer for the Herald's circulation division four times and the North Dakota sportswriter of the year once. He resides in Grand Forks. Reach him at bschlossman@gfherald.com.
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