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WATCH: UND hockey savoring the return of fans, Spuds' Gramer heading to the NCHC in WDAY's 10 PM sportscast for September 22

The Fighting Hawks will play their first home game this season October 8th against Niagara.

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National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) Commissioner Josh Fenton addresses the UND men's hockey team and fans at Ralph Engelstad Arena following Saturday's 7-1 victory over Omaha, a series sweep of the Mavericks and the Fighting Hawks clinching possession of the conference's Penrose Cup for a second year in a row. Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald
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North Dakota hockey didn't play a home game last season until January 23rd. Won't have to wait that long this year.

They'll drop the puck in 16 days at the Ralph against Niagara. The Ralph returns to full capacity this fall after only being at 25 percent capacity last season due to COVID restrictions.

"Thinking about it gives me chills," said sophomore forward Riese Gaber. "I think about it every day. As a kid this is why you come here for. Obviously there's a culture and everything, but playing in front of 12,000 fans in the Ralph is crazy. I can't wait to experience it."

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Another Spud is joining the ranks of the NCHC. Moorhead's Joe Gramer announcing he's committed to Omaha.

Gramer was solid and steady in his debut season for the Spuds last year. Two goals, 15 assists. His 17 points were third most for Moorhead. His brother, Luke, is set to play for the Fargo Force this season. He's committed to play college hockey at Northern Michigan.

Zach Staton joined WDAY as a sports reporter in 2018. He grew up in Salem, Virginia loving any sport he could play or watch. Staton graduated from Bridgewater College with a degree in Communication Studies before getting his Master's in Broadcast and Digital Journalism with a Sports Communication Emphasis from Syracuse University.
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