Hockey VIPs staffer, Shannon Valerio, recently made the pilgrimage to Grand Forks, North Dakota to take in some games at one of collegiate hockey’s most famous venues: The Ralph Engelstad Arena. Come take a look at this amazing hockey palace.
Ralph Engelstad Arena'd opulance stands out in the middle of Grand Forks, North Dakota.
The gorgeous foyer enables ticket purchasers to come in from the cold.
"The Ralph" ready for the holidays.
The Sioux Store.
The University of North Dakota holds seven NCAA Division I championships, 16 regular season championships and 10 WCHA Tournament championships.
The recently remodled locker room area.
This ornate Indian head logo is built into the marble floor of the main concourse.
Another one of the countless Indian head logos adorning in the arena.
Soon to be packed to the gills, this bar is one of the highlights of the arena.
A view from the second level.
A band plays in the concourse before the game
One of two bars at the end of the upper concourse.
A monument to hockey, "The Ralph" rivals any NHL arena.
A mural of Stanley Cup champion Mike Commodore, who played for North Dakota.
The bar, now packed with happy game-goers.
During the National Anthem, the building's energy builds.
UND's rival University of Denver Pioneers take the ice.
The professional-calibre arena seems to bring out a professional quailty in the players.
Players say the energy in the building boosts their playing.
Denver's Troy Terry wins the faceoff
Pioneer Tariq Hammond crosschecks former junior teammate Rhett Gardner of the Fighting Hawks.
About Shannon Valerio
Shannon Valerio is a former professional speed skater and competitive hockey player. A competitive athlete since she was just 8 years old, she has spent more than 30 years immersed in skating sports, including playing for the University of Denver women’s club hockey team. As strength and conditioning specialist, she has worked with hockey players of all ages and abilities, from Mini-Mites to NHL Stanley Cup champions. She loves the technical nuances of the game but more importantly the "play behind the play" -- the personalities that make up a unique and vibrant community. As co-founder of Hockey VIPs Magazine, she has been able to merge her passion for hockey with one of her favorite pastimes, writing.
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