Friday, January 20, 2017

Feature: Border Battle Meets State of Hockey (

(This originally appeared on

Luke Kunin has experienced the Minnesota-Wisconsin rivalry firsthand. Games between the two for the Wisconsin sophomore captain are games to look forward to, just as they have been for generations of Golden Gophers and Badgers players before him. They get heated at times.

This weekend, however, adds an additional element to the normally festive games. For the second time in three seasons, the University of Minnesota and University of Wisconsin play one another on Hockey Day Minnesota.

For Kunin, the 15th overall selection by the Minnesota Wild at the 2016 NHL Draft, and fellow Wild draft pick, Gophers sophomore defenseman Jack Sadek (2015 seventh-round pick), it will be a new experience.

Two seasons ago -- before both players were in college -- the Gophers defeated Wisconsin 5-2 in Minneapolis. This year, Hockey Day crosses state lines temporarily for a 5 p.m. game at the Kohl Center in Madison.

On Friday, alumni from both programs will skate in a game outdoors at Lowell Park in Stillwater.

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