North Dakota Interested In Playing Against Penn State Hockey In Nashville
The University of North Dakota’s men’s hockey team is reportedly interested in playing a neutral-site game against Penn State at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, according to Grand Forks Herald reporter Brad E. Schlossman.
The team is working with Ralph Engelstad Arena — its home rink in Grand Forks, ND — to get an agreement done to play against Penn State at the home of the NHL’s Nashville Predators.
Although nothing is finalized yet, the two sides have made progress on an agreement that will see North Dakota play at Bridgestone Arena during the 2020-21 season. Barring any changes late in the process, the Fighting Hawks’ opponent in Nashville will be Penn State.
Penn State men’s hockey has not played against North Dakota in program history. Unless the two teams schedule a regular season series in the 2019-20 season or cross paths in the NCAA tournament, the game in Nashville would be their first head-to-head matchup.
North Dakota became interested in playing a game at Bridgestone Arena during the Nashville Predators’ 2017 run the Stanley Cup Final. The rink’s notoriously raucous atmosphere made it extremely appealing to the university’s officials.
In years past, North Dakota beat Clarkson at the NHL home of the Winnipeg Jets in 2012, and they took down Boston College at Madison Square Garden in New York City four years later. Although North Dakota won’t play a neutral-site game at an NHL rink this season, it will take on Minnesota at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas on October 27.
Penn State is no stranger to NHL rinks, either. Guy Gadowsky’s program has made appearances at the homes of the Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Arizona Coyotes since the start of the 2016-17 season. The team will take on Michigan at Madison Square Garden this season on top of another visit to the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.