Coming into this year, North Dakota’s current senior class (forwards Conner Gaarder, Mark MacMillan, Brendan O’Donnell, Andrew Panzerella, Michael Parks, Stephane Pattyn, and Colten St. Clair, along with defenseman Nick Mattson) has never won the regular season series against St. Cloud State.
Bob Motzko’s Huskies own a 7-4-1 record against UND over the past three seasons, outscoring the Green and White 31-24 in those twelve conference games. North Dakota does claim the only postseason victory over the last three years, a 4-1 triumph at the 2012 WCHA Final Five in St. Paul, Minnesota.
SCSU won the regular season title in the last year of the WCHA as we know it (2012-2013), and also came out on top of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference in the first season of its existence (2013-14). The Huskies have gone 64-44-11 (.584) over the last three full seasons, and the last two years look even better: a record of 47-27-6 (.625), with two regular season league titles, two trips to the NCAA tournament, a berth in the Frozen Four (2012-13), a Hobey Baker winner (forward Drew LeBlanc, 2012-13), and another Hobey Hat Trick finalist (forward Nic Dowd, 2013-14).
There were some who questioned the inclusion of St. Cloud State in the NCHC after Minnesota and Wisconsin bolted for the Big Ten hockey conference. I would contend that SCSU’s sustained success and style of play have made the UND/SCSU rivalry one of the best in the league.