UMD’s Spicer, head coach Sandelin make return to former home North Dakota this weekend

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Last May Grand Forks native Cole Spicer de-committed to his hometown North Dakota Fighting Hawks men’s hockey team and skated his way over to their rivals the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) led by, North Dakota alum himself, head coach Scott Sandelin.

This weekend the duo will make their return to Ralph Engelstad Arena.

“I’m expecting a lot of boos,” Spicer laughed, referencing the crowd. “Looking forward to this one. It’ll be a pretty emotional week going home and going back and playing North Dakota who, I’m from there, comitted there for forever, but I feel like I can kind of prove myself and just show that I’m ready to play at this level.”

Sandelin skated for the Fighting Sioux from 1982-1986, then served as an assistant coach from 1994-2000.

He said, “they don’t like me there now.” Adding that they’ll, “try to keep it quiet. It’s a hard thing to do but they feed off their crowd, they feed off the energy and it’s not going to be any different this weekend.”

UMD enters with a 9-12-1 record to North Dakota’s 9-10-4. Puck drop Friday is set for 7:07 p.m. and Saturday at 6:07 p.m.