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THN.com Jersey Tournament: North Dakota Fighting Sioux take title

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We love our polls and tourneys here at THN.com. And this year we had one of the best and most popular of all – the Jersey Tournament.

Encompassing every pro, minor pro, college and major junior loop in North America – 13 leagues in all – with more than 100 jerseys vying for top spot, the whole shebang came down to two jerseys prominently featuring Native North Americans: the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks and the NCAA’s North Dakota Fighting Sioux; proving despite their controversies, such designs remain popular.

When the voting closed at 9:00 a.m. Monday morning there was a resounding winner; North Dakota garnered 58 percent of the total vote. Congratulations Fighting Sioux supporters.

It’s fitting these two teams met in the final, as North Dakota’s logo is based on Chicago’s. It’s got a style all its own now, but that wasn’t always the case.

Bob Peters coached the UND team from 1964-1966 and is credited for bringing in the now-famous logo. When Peters got to the school, UND’s jersey had a simple New York Rangers-like design with ‘S-I-O-U-X’ printed diagonally across the chest. That all changed in 1964.

“I brought in the Chicago Blackhawk logo, with the crossed tomahawks on the shoulders and an ‘S’ inscribed amongst them,” Peters said. “And that was the logo for many years, until they went to this caricature.”

Peters’ UND jersey and logo was an exact replica of the Blackhawks’.

“There was no copyright at the time,” he said. “I was not enamored with the printing of Sioux across (the chest). I just thought it was more to our history, our image to have the Native American head on it and then the Blackhawk tomahawk. And that stayed for quite a while.

“I like history. And that’s what (the logo) was all about.”

Of course, the UND jersey is much different now. Gone are the Blackhawks’ colors and tomahawks, replaced with a green, white and black scheme and an intersecting ‘ND’ shoulder patch. The old Native American logo has been given a slick, modern look, which is a popular one, to boot.

In September (after our tournament began in August), UND unveiled a newer version of the Fighting Sioux jersey. And if you don’t think it’s possible to upgrade on No. 1, check this out.

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John Grigg is a copy editor and writer with The Hockey News and a regular contributor to THN.com with his blog appearing Tuesdays and the Wednesday Top 10.

For more great profiles, news and views from the world of hockey, subscribe to The Hockey News magazine.

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