Yesterday, the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers announced the full 2015-2016 Men's Hockey schedule. The game times and (most importantly) the TV schedule has not been announced. Here's what we have.
|10/10/2015||vs. Vermont||Mariucci Arena|
|10/16/2015||vs. Minnesota Duluth||Mariucci Arena|
|10/17/2015||at Minnesota Duluth||Duluth, Minn.|
|10/23/2015||vs. Northeastern||Mariucci Arena|
|10/24/2015||vs. Northeastern||Mariucci Arena|
|11/6/2015||at Notre Dame||South Bend, Ind.|
|11/7/2015||at Notre Dame||South Bend, Ind.|
|11/13/2015||at Minnesota State||Mankato, Minn.|
|11/14/2015||vs. Minnesota State||Mariucci Arena|
|11/27/2015||vs. St. Cloud State||Mariucci Arena|
|11/29/2015||vs. St. Cloud State||Mariucci Arena|
|12/4/2015||vs. Ohio State *||Mariucci Arena|
|12/5/2015||vs. Ohio State *||Mariucci Arena|
|12/11/2015||at Michigan *||Ann Arbor, Mich.|
|12/12/2015||at Michigan *||Ann Arbor, Mich.|
25th Annual Mariucci Classic
|1/1/2016||Harvard vs. Ferris State||Mariucci Arena|
|vs. UConn||Mariucci Arena|
|1/2/2016||Harvard or Ferris State||Mariucci Arena|
|UConn vs. Harvard or Ferris State||Mariucci Arena|
|1/8/2016||at Penn State *||State College, Pa.|
|1/9/2016||at Penn State *||State College, Pa.|
|1/15/2016||vs. Michigan State *||Mariucci Arena|
|1/16/2016||vs. Michigan State *||Mariucci Arena|
|1/22/2016||at Wisconsin *||Madison, Wis.|
|1/23/2016||at Wisconsin *||Madison, Wis.|
Third Annual North Star College Cup
|1/29/2016||vs. Bemidji St||Xcel Energy Center|
|Minnesota State vs. St. Cloud State||Xcel Energy Center|
|1/30/2016||Championship Game||Xcel Energy Center|
|Consolation Game||Xcel Energy Center|
|2/5/2016||vs. Penn State *||Mariucci Arena|
|2/6/2016||vs. Penn State *||Mariucci Arena|
|2/12/2016||at Ohio State *||Columbus, Ohio|
|2/13/2016||at Ohio State *||Columbus, Ohio|
|2/25/2016||vs. Michigan *||Mariucci Arena|
|2/26/2016||vs. Michigan *||Mariucci Arena|
|3/4/2016||at Michigan State *||East Lansing, Mich.|
|3/5/2016||at Michigan State *||East Lansing, Mich.|
|3/11/2016||vs. Wisconsin *||Mariucci Arena|
|3/12/2016||vs. Wisconsin *||Mariucci Arena|
Bonus home game! Vermont is... a team against whom the Gophers will play a bonus home game. That game is the annual Hall of Fame Game so it doesn't count against the regular season limit.
The schedule also features eight games against in-state schools, and does not include a weekend of series against Bemidji State, which is like a bonus in (and of) itself. I know the Beavers won the NSCC last year, but whoopidy-do: they're generally the least-watchable squad in Minnesota.
The Mariucci Classic has a decent lineup. Ferris State is usually a pretty good team, and Harvard is a nice addition. This lineup pretty much guarantees a quality opponent in the second game of the tournament. UConn has the distinction of having the least imaginative uniforms in college hockey (If you have one you hate more, let me know in the comments! I'm assuming the North Dakota Nickname Thieves will get some votes).
The season-ending series against Wisconsin has the potential to be a fun one, depending on how the schedule plays out.
The series against Northeastern. Not looking forward to seeing two games against Boston's fifth or sixth most important team. Sorry Northeastern fans, I'm not impressed that you won the game at home last year.
The series against Notre Dame may or may not be televised. If it's not, then we'll be forced to watch this one one Notre Dame's website, which is brutal if it hasn't been improved since the IceBreaker tournament last year.
The Big Ten schedule. I'm hoping to be pleasantly surprised by the quality of Big Ten teams this year, but I'm not expecting Wisconsin to compete for the conference championship this year, Michigan will take a big step back, and Michigan State will putter along as usual. There might be two other teams in the conference but I can't remember who they are.
So, out of 36 games, 20 are consumed by the Big Ten, and eight games are taken by in-state schools. That leaves seven games (four weekends) to fill with non-conference opponents, and this is who we get: Vermont, Northeastern, Notre Dame, UConn, Harvard/Ferris State. Remember how the Gophers basically had to win the Big Ten Tournament to make the NCAA Tourney last year? If they don't go unbeaten against these teams, they might be looking at that same scenario next spring.