GRAND FORKS — The University of North Dakota will open next hockey season in the Last Frontier.
North Dakota will take on Alaska-Anchorage in a two-game series on Oct. 6-7 in Sullivan Arena to kick off the 2017-18 regular season.
That was one of several highlights to the schedule, which was released by the school on Wednesday.
Other key dates include nonconference games against rival Minnesota (Oct. 20-21) —the Gophers’ first trip to Grand Forks since January 2012 — a trip to Wisconsin (Nov. 3-4), a home series against 2014 national champion Union (Nov. 24-25) and two series against defending champ Denver (Nov. 17-18 in Denver, Jan. 26-27 in Grand Forks).
The only National Collegiate Hockey Conference opponent that doesn’t come to Ralph Engelstad Arena is Minnesota-Duluth.
The only NCHC team that UND doesn’t play on the road is Western Michigan.
UND is able to play 36 regular-season games instead of the regular 34 because games in Alaska are exempt.
Hakstol to coach at Worlds
Former UND coach Dave Hakstol has been selected as an assistant coach for Team Canada’s Men’s World Championship team.
This is the first Hockey Canada coaching job for Hakstol, who is currently the head coach of the Philadelphia Flyers.
The Flyers finished 39-33-10, but missed the playoffs this season by three spots.
The Men’s World Championship will begin May 5 in France and Germany.
UND recruit Grant Mismash was ranked as the No. 24 North American skater available for June’s NHL Draft by the NHL’s Central Scouting Bureau.
If Mismash goes in the first round, it would mark the fourth consecutive year UND has had a first-round draft pick.
In 2014, Nick Schmaltz went No. 20 overall to the Chicago Blackhawks. In 2015, Brock Boeser went No. 23 to the Vancouver Canucks. Last year, Tyson Jost went No. 10 to the Colorado Avalanche.