The WCHA announced the composite schedule for its women's hockey teams on Tuesday afternoon. Thus we now know who the Gophers will face off against next season in their quest for three NCAA Championships in a row and five of the last six.
The Gophers will get a tougher than average task in the non-conference season with a series in mid-December at Boston University. The Terriers have been one of the better teams from Hockey East over the last few seasons, including facing off against the Gophers in the 2013 NCAA title game. The other non-conference series for Minnesota will be against Lindenwood to start the season at Ridder Arena.
In WCHA play the Gophers will get a tough task right away as they open at Bemidji State. The Beavers have had the Gophers number lately and still return a tough defensive core from a team that narrowly missed the NCAA Tournament a year ago. The Gophers open WCHA play at home the next weekend when UMD comes to Ridder. Three series against WCHA bottom feeders MSU-Mankato, Ohio State and St. Cloud State will get the Gophers ready for a four week brutal slog that sees Minnesota go to Grand Forks to play North Dakota, home for Bemidji State, a trip to Madison to play Wisconsin and then their trip to Boston to play BU.
The second half of the season after the Holiday break sees the schedule lighten up once again before the Gophers make a push for the WCHA title the last two weekends at home against North Dakota and Wisconsin. If all goes to par, the Gophers should not need to leave Ridder Arena from mid-February until the Frozen Four in mid-March with the last two home series, the WCHA First Round, the WCHA Final Faceoff, and hopefully the NCAA Quarterfinal all being played at Ridder.
The NCAA Frozen Four will be hosted by Lindenwood March 17-19 in St. Charles, Missouri.
The complete WCHA Women's Hockey Schedule is below: