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North Star College Cup ending

The 2017 tournament this weekend will be the final version. Fan interest and teams wanting more home games against other Minnesota schools have been named as reasons.

North Star College Cup logo (Minnesota Athletics)
Minnesota Athletics

This weekend’s fourth annual North Star College Cup will be the final one.

The tournament, contested at Xcel Energy Center between the five Minnesota D1 men’s hockey programs, was an attempt to continue longtime rivalries between in-state schools disrupted when realignment struck college hockey. Minnesota left the WCHA for the Big Ten and UMD and St. Cloud State departed for the newly-formed NCHC.

While the hope was the North Star College Cup would be Minnesota’s version of Michigan’s GLI or Boston’s Beanpot, netural site attendance and fan interest never quite reached the levels. Various times and dates were tried.

An official statement on the matter:

The first three years of the tournament saw three different schools win the five-sided trophy. Minnesota was the inaugural tournament winner in 2014. Bemidji State took the title in its first appearance in 2015 and St. Cloud State won last year’s NSCC championship.

Those three schools and Minnesota Duluth make up the lineup of the 2017 North Star College Cup. Friday’s semifinals see St. Cloud State-Bemidji State at 4 p.m. CT and Minnesota-Minnesota Duluth at 7 pm. CT. The winners play at 7 p.m. Saturday while the consolation game is at 4 p.m. CT.

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Nathan Wells is a college hockey columnist for SB Nation mostly covering both the University of Minnesota and Big Ten. You can also follow him on Twitter --