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Published January 16, 2011, 07:54 PM

Gopher Fans Talk About Fighting Sioux

Hockey fans are filled with emotions as UND plays its last regular season game. The Fighting Sioux were taking on rival U of M Gophers. The teams have played more than 270 games against each other. Fans don't want it to end.

Hockey fans are filled with emotions as UND plays its last regular season game.

The Fighting Sioux were taking on rival U of M Gophers.

The teams have played more than 270 games against each other. Fans don't want it to end.

Gopher fan Mike Schmidt has a special connection to the team.

"I've been a hockey fan all my life. I was a Husky fan until my brother committed to the Gophers." Schmidt said.

Even though Schmidt loves the Gophers, the retirement of the "Fighting Sioux" nickname and logo kind of bothers him.

"That's the only way we know it, you know and people in the hockey world and all sports I should say." Schmidt said.

The State Board of Higher Education has ordered UND to retire the nickname and logo by August 15th as part of a settlement negotiated with the NCAA.

Although the name may change, both gopher and Sioux fans say the games will still be the same.

"No matter what the teams call each other or call themselves. I'm sure it'll be the intense rivalry it's always been." Gopher fan Noel Paulson said.

"It might tone some things down in regards to how other schools see us. It just might diminish some of the rivalry. I mean the rivalry is between the schools it isn't between the nicknames." Sioux fan Jeff Barta said.

No matter what the UND nickname and logo are changed to, one thing is clear, fans like Schmidt will support their team and go to games like they always have.

"These teams you know, you hate each other but at the same time it's a fun game to come to. Everyone has a good time and it's a lot of fun." Schmidt said.

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