- Associated Press - Thursday, January 23, 2014

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Strained by conference realignment, Minnesota’s college hockey rivalries will be renewed this weekend.

The inaugural North Star College Cup starts Friday at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Minnesota State plays Minnesota Duluth in the first semifinal, and Minnesota takes on St. Cloud State in the night game.

The winners meet Saturday for the championship, preceded by a consolation game.

Bemidji State isn’t included this year but will be part of the rotation. All five of the state’s Division I men’s hockey schools were formerly in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, but Minnesota left for the Big Ten and Minnesota Duluth and St. Cloud State joined the National Collegiate Hockey Conference.

The tournament was devised to maintain scheduling regularity among the rivals. The Gophers will be permanent hosts.

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