Manitoba couple get married at centre ice in North Dakota hockey rink

The Associated Press ~ staff The News
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GRAND FORKS, N.D. Shelley Klippenstein and Marc Duval have been going to University of North Dakota hockey games together for more than two years. So the hockey arena seemed a logical place for their wedding.

The couple exchanged vows Saturday at centre ice in the Ralph Engelstad Arena.

It was the first centre-ice wedding in the arenas seven-year history, said Chris Semrau, director of events for The Ralph.

Duval said it was the brides idea.

We like the arena. We like the team, he said.

I threw it out as a joke, she said. I said Hey, wouldnt it be cool to be married here?

I made a phone call, and they said they could make it happen.

About 100 guests found their seats in the east side of the arena. The couple did not want to wear skates, so carpeting was rolled out from the UND locker room to centre ice.

It is a monument to the game, a Mecca to all who love it, Barbara Schauer told the gathering before pronouncing the Manitoba couple husband and wife. But these surroundings do not compare with the love Shelley and Marc share, she said.

As the couple kissed, the horn that sounds after a UND goal blared. The recessional was a recording of the former theme to CBCs Hockey Night in Canada.

Semrau called it a weekend of love at the Ralph. On Friday night, Chase Sillingham rented the ice to propose to Kari Leftwich. She accepted, and they are to be married in Bismarck.

Semrau said the arena charges $140 for an hour of ice time, and $500 to rent the lobby, which has room for 350 people.

Organizations: University of North Dakota, The Ralph, CBCs Hockey Night

Geographic location: Manitoba, North Dakota, GRAND FORKS, N.D. Canada Bismarck

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