North Dakota and Minnesota are two of the best collegiate programs in the nation, and have long held a fierce rivalry.
Now, they’re taking it to Sin City.
Per the Grand Forks Herald, the two schools will take part in the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Game in Las Vegas in October of 2018.
The Herald reported in November that the two schools had verbally agreed to play the game, but no contract had been signed as Minnesota transitioned to a new athletic director. Eight months later, that contract has now been finalized, the Herald has learned, and an official announcement is expected sometime in the next two weeks.
The single game is set for Orleans Arena, which is part of the Orleans Hotel and Casino. The 7,773-seat horseshoe venue previously served as home of the Las Vegas Wranglers of the East Coast Hockey League.
Orleans Arena is located roughly a mile and a half west of Strip hotels New York, New York, MGM Grand, Excalibur and Tropicana.
The game is yet another feather in the cap for Las Vegas. Earlier this month, the NHL announced that Vegas would become the league’s 31st franchise, granting owner Bill Foley an expansion club that will begin play in the 2017-18 campaign.
North Dakota finished atop the NCAA landscape this year, capturing its first Frozen Four championship in 16 years. The club was led by Canucks prospect Brock Boeser and Most Outstanding Player Drake Caggiula, who went on to sign with the Edmonton Oilers.
The Gophers, meanwhile, have captured five national championships, though none since 2003. The program has sent a plethora of talented players to the NHL, including current standouts like Erik Johnson, Phil Kessel, Blake Wheeler and Kyle Okposo.
Per the Herald, the two schools have set aside Saturday, Oct. 27 as the date for the Vegas game.