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UND hockey guide to Frozen Four tourism

FNS photo by Eric Hylden University of North Dakota defenseman Dillon Simpson, left, scores a goal against Miami University’s Jay Wiliams in the second period of a game on Feb. 16 at the Ralph Englestad Arena.

GRAND FORKS — The University of North Dakota is the underdog of the NCAA Frozen Four and it happens to be headed to the city that made an underdog famous.

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Philadelphia was the home of Rocky, the fictional boxer and Hollywood icon, who went toe-to-toe with the world’s best fighters. It is the setting of the famous scene, where Rocky runs up the stairs of the Philadelphia Art Museum as he trains for a title fight.

Fans that are headed to the City of Brotherly Love to watch UND try to continue its surprising run at the 2014 NCAA Frozen Four will have no shortage of things to do next week in Philadelphia, including visiting that famous staircase.

Here are other must-see items in Philadelphia.

The sports

The Frozen Four will be played at Wells Fargo Center in south Philadelphia, the home of the NHL’s Flyers and the NBA’s 76ers.

It opened in 1994 and seats about 19,500 for hockey. It is expected to be sold out for the Frozen Four, featuring UND, Minnesota, Boston College and Union.

Practices are open to the public on Wednesday. UND goes from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Minnesota goes from 1:45 to 2:45 p.m.

If you’re looking for more sports to attend after practices, the Philadelphia Phillies are home on Wednesday night against the Milwaukee Brewers at Citizens Bank Park, which is located adjacent to Wells Fargo Center.

The Phillies also are home on Friday, when there’s no hockey, against the Florida Marlins.

The food

Philadelphia is known for one thing — the Philly Cheesesteak.

The two most iconic places are Pat’s and Geno’s. The two friendly rivals are located right next to each other in south Philadelphia. Pat’s is located at 1237 E. Passyunk Avenue. Geno’s is at 1219 S. 9th Street.

Pat’s founder, Pat Olivieri, invented the sandwich in 1930. Geno’s founder, Joey Vento, claimed he first added cheese to the steak.

So which one is better?

“Geno’s,” said Boston College forward Johnny Gaudreau, a suburban Philly native who is expected to win the Hobey Baker Award on Friday. “Definitely Geno’s.”

A more underrated place is Tony Luke’s.

The history

Philadelphia is one of the most historic cities in the United States.

The liberty bell, located on Market Street between 5th and 6th Street, is an icon of American Independence.

Nearby is Independence Hall, the place where the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution were debated and signed. Entry tickets are required to visit Independence Hall.

The Benjamin Franklin Museun, Edgar Allan Poe House and the old President’s House site are all historical attractions that are also located in Philadelphia.

A side trip

For chocolate lovers, Hershey, Pa., is about an hour and a half away and it is the site of the Hershey Company. Tours are available.

Hershey is also the location of the American Hockey League team, the Hershey Bears. Former UND players Chay Genoway and Matt Watkins are on that squad, which is the top minor league affiliate of the Washington Capitals.

Etc.

UND will host its pre-game party at McFadden’s, which is located inside Citizens Bank Park. The party starts three hours before the UND-Minnesota semifinal game.

Brad Elliott Schlossman

Schlossman is in his 12th year covering college hockey for the Herald. In 2016, he was named the top beat writer in the country by the Associated Press Sports Editors. He has voted in the national college hockey poll since 2007 and has served as a member of the Hobey Baker and Patty Kazmaier Award committees.

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