The Big Ten announced the 2015-16 Hockey Conference schedule on Wednesday. So we now know when and where the Gophers will play their 20 regular season conference games. Hopefully, we will now get the full Gopher Hockey schedule very soon, as it sounded like the Gophers were going to wait until the conference schedule was released to announce their non-conference schedule. Once again, Minnesota will have one "unusual" conference game in 2016 as they will host Michigan for a Thursday/Friday series at the end of February. As always, TV info and actual game times will not be announced until sometime in September. Cross your fingers because it may not be to Gopher fan's liking (more on that in a future article).
The Gophers Big Ten Schedule is listed Below:
|Fri Dec 4||Ohio State||Mariucci Arena|
|Sat Dec 5||Ohio State||Mariucci Arena|
|Fri Dec 11||Michigan||Ann Arbor|
|Sat Dec 12||Michigan||Ann Arbor|
|Fri Jan 8||Penn State||University Park|
|Sat Jan 9||Penn State||University Park|
|Fri Jan 15||Michigan State||Mariucci Arena|
|Sat Jan 16||Michigan State||Mariucci Arena|
|Fri Jan 22||Wisconsin||Madison|
|Sat Jan 23||Wisconsin||Madison|
|Fri Feb 5||Penn State||Mariucci Arena|
|Sat Feb 6||Penn State||Mariucci Arena|
|Fri Feb 12||Ohio State||Columbus|
|Sat Feb 13||Ohio State||Columbus|
|Thurs Feb 25||Michigan||Mariucci Arena|
|Fri Feb 26||Michigan||Mariucci Arena|
|Fri March 4||Michigan State||East Lansing|
|Sat March 5||Michigan State||East Lansing|
|Fri March 11||Wisconsin||Mariucci Arena|
|Sat March 12||Wisconsin||Mariucci Arena|
|March 17-19||Big Ten Tournament||Xcel Energy Center- St. Paul|
A few interesting notes:
- Those last three series will be huge for the Gophers. Michigan at home, at MSU, and Senior night at home against Wisconsin. Guessing the conference may be close to decided that weekend in East Lansing.
- The Gophers non Conference schedule (which will be announced soon) will be mostly in October and November. This includes 3 home and homes against UMD (Oct 15/16) , St. Cloud (Nov 27/28) and Mankato (Nov 13/14). The Gophers will also travel to Notre Dame for a series (Nov 6/7) and will host Northeastern. They will also of course play in the North Star Cup at the X the last weekend in January (Jan 29/30) against Bemidji State Friday and either St. Cloud or Mankato on Saturday. Also the annual Mariucci Classic will be at the end of December against teams rumored to be UCONN, Ferris State and maybe Michigan Tech?
- One open weekend which will be VERY curious to see when it is announced (and frankly is my hypothesis why the Gopher schedule has not been announced yet) is the weekend of February 19 and 20. The NHL Stadium Series game outside at TCF Bank Stadium between the Minnesota Wild and the Chicago Blackhawks is scheduled for Sunday February 21st. it has been long rumored that the Gophers MAY play another outdoors game earlier that week/weekend. Now, unless it is
an exhibition game one-off official game like the Hall of Fame Game, it doesn't look promising on the schedule unless Northeastern would be coming to town that weekend, which frankly would excite absolutely no one. But there could be something secret up the U's sleeve.....or it could just happen to be a coincidental off-weekend from the Big Ten schedule that week. Guess we will see. Its more likely Northeastern will come in in the end of October where the Gophers seem to have 3 open weeks in a row currently.
As soon as the Gophers release their non-conference schedule, we will provide it too you, and look at a little more full schedule analysis.
The Full Big Ten Conference Schedule can be found HERE: big schedule 15-16