GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) — The University of North Dakota hockey team worked out with goaltender Ed Belfour this week as they prepared for the start of their season.
Belfour, an eight-time NHL all-star and two-time Vezina Trophy winner, practised with the Fighting Sioux as they prepare to face U.S. champion Michigan State on Saturday night.
The 42-year-old, a former UND standout, is preparing for his 19th professional season, one he will spend with Leksand of the Swedish Elite League.
"It’s awesome," Sioux defenceman Taylor Chorney said. "I’ve never had a chance to skate with someone who has had so many accolades. He’s had a pretty successful career so far, and for a guy to keep playing at his age and still have such a passion for the game, it rubs off on you."
Belfour’s last game as a Fighting Sioux came against Michigan State in the 1987 national championship game. Belfour, who was a freshman, led UND to a 5-3 victory and turned pro after the game.
The Carman, Man., native has kept in close contact with UND through the years. After winning the Stanley Cup with the Dallas Stars in 1999, he brought the trophy to Grand Forks. During the NHL lockout in 2005, Belfour went to the NCAA Frozen Four in Columbus, Ohio, to watch the Sioux.
Belfour arrived in Grand Forks last weekend and was on hand for UND’s 9-3 exhibition win over the University of Manitoba on Sunday night. After the game, he stopped in the locker-room to chat with a few players.
"When I was growing up, we always went to (Minnesota) North Star games when they played the Blackhawks," rookie defenceman Derrick LaPoint said. "So I kind of idolized the ‘Eagle’ when I was growing up. To be able to meet with him and skate with him, it’s been pretty amazing."