The men’s hockey team’s path through the NCAA tournament could leave some of its politically-minded alumni with headaches.

Both Minnesota governor Mark Dayton ’69 and North Dakota governor Jack Dalrymple ’70 lettered for Yale, while Senator John Kerry played junior varsity. But all three now have constituents who might fight the Elis in the upcoming NCAA Tournament.

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The University of Minnesota-Duluth is in Yale’s regional, so Dayton might have to choose between alma mater and hometown team as soon as Saturday. The two teams will meet if both win their opening games.

It would take Yale more work to face the University of North Dakota (UND) or Boston College.

If Yale does face Boston College, as it did last year in the second round of the tournament, the Elis might be able to count on Kerry as a fan. When Harvard visited Ingalls Rink, the former presidential candidate was in attendance, and said his loyalties were with the men in blue.

“I’m rooting for Yale, absolutely,” he said.

Dayton and Dalrymple’s loyalties might be more difficult to come by for Yale. Both governors live in states where hockey is king — UND team plays in a stadium that seats 11,640 and cost $110 million when it was built in 2000. Ingalls Rink seats 3,500.

Moreover, the two men have been vocal about their support for Duluth and UND before. Before the two teams clashed on December 30, 2010, the governors and former teammates made a high stakes bet on the result.

If Duluth won, Dalrymple promised to send a case of North Dakota-made Dreamfields low-carb spaghetti to Dayton. If UND won, Dayton promised Dalrymple a thermos of Duluth’s Jitters Coffee.

UND trounced Duluth, 5–0.