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Penn State Hockey: North Dakota Down The Road? Marquee Game Might Happen

by on May 25, 2018 2:00 PM

For the most part Penn State has yet to face a good number of the major programs across college hockey.

The now apparently annual postseason meeting with Denver and a few scattered games against Union, Boston College and others aside, the Nittany Lions have faced the same handful of Big Ten teams and not much more. All of this is the result of nothing more than scheduling and opportunity.

But according to Brad Schlossman of the Grand Forks Herald an opportunity for one of the biggest marquee games to date might be just a few years away.

"This afternoon, in response to a tweet about UND liking to play destination games every two or three years, I mentioned that the next destination will almost surely be Nashville." Schlossman wrote.

"According to sources, UND and Ralph Engelstad Arena are still working on getting this done. There’s still work to do. Nothing has been finalized or signed yet. But they are making progress. If this game gets done, the opponent will be Penn State, barring any late changes."

"Such late changes have happened before. If you recall, the Winnipeg game in 2012 was originally supposed to be UND-Omaha. It ended up being UND-Clarkson. But the Nittany Lions are the likely opponent should the Nashville game get finalized. I believe the target is for the 2020-21 season. And it would be held at Bridgestone Arena, home of the Predators."

Of course games scheduled that far out always run the risk of running into potential bumps in the road, but for Penn State a trip to one of the nation's fastest growing hockey cities to play one of the great programs in college hockey would be one among the most interesting meetings the Nittany Lions have had so far.

Penn State has played in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and New York, but all three cities could fall under something of the "ordinary" umbrella for the athletic department's usual off campus neutral site travels.

According to at least two Penn State sources the game is in works, although with an emphasis on the fact anything can happen in the interim.

Even so, this would be among the biggest events of the year for Penn State athletics if it comes to pass, and one of the those moments fans can look forward to as their increasingly tenured program continues to grow.

Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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