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Minnesota Golden Gophers Hockey 2015 - 2016 Full Schedule Announced

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Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

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

Highlights

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).

via trbimg.com 

The season-ending series against Wisconsin has the potential to be a fun one, depending on how the schedule plays out.

Lowlights

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.