- Associated Press - Monday, March 3, 2014

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - In the State of Hockey, even law schools have hockey teams.

And while the Fighting Mondales might not be the official team of the University of Minnesota Law School, they’re as close as it gets.

Mondales member Joe Lewis said he first learned about the team when he was researching the law school.

“If you go on the (university) Law School Wikipedia page, there’s a section on the hockey team,” Lewis said. “That’s something that’s unique to Minnesota.”

The Fighting Mondales officially became a team in 2004, according to team members, but law students playing together on an intramural hockey team goes back decades before that.

The name pays homage to former U.S. Vice President Walter Mondale, an alumnus of the law school and the namesake of the school’s main building - Mondale Hall.

The law school now has groups such as the Fighting Pawndales, a chess club, and Mondale F.C., a soccer team. Still, the Fighting Mondales were one of the first - if not the first - to adopt their moniker.

Mondales co-captain Toni Haraldsen said Walter Mondale has yet to come to a game, but he’s aware of the team.

“That’d be great, I think, if we could get him to a game,” Haraldsen said.

The Mondales play intramural games in both the fall and spring semesters and then play against other area law schools in April for the Golden Gavel.

The team affords its busy law students a chance to take their minds off law for a couple of hours a week.

“It’s really important in law school to not get totally enveloped in your studies, which can happen really easily. My first year, this team saved my life,” Lewis told the Minnesota Daily (http://bit.ly/1clqoZ1). “I don’t know if I would have made it without it.”

About 15 law students play for the Mondales.

While the team is mostly men, there are a few women on the roster.

Mondales players range in age from early 20s to at least one player in his 40s. Skill level also varies.

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