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Minnesota Hockey schedule revealed for 2017-2018

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This upcoming season’s slate includes a few interesting changes.

Wondering who the Minnesota Golden Gophers would play in the 2017-2018 hockey season? You don’t have to wait any longer, as the U released its full schedule to the public earlier today.

Key schedule related items to note

  • The Gophers open the Big Ten season IN OCTOBER. That’s right, the conference season is now starting about 6 weeks earlier than normal. Why is that? Because...
  • The conference season ends 3 weeks earlier than usual in February to accommodate the new Big Ten Tournament format:

Beginning with the 2017-18 season, the regular season Big Ten Champion will receive a first round bye, and will have home ice advantage for the rest of the tournament. The other six teams will play a best-of-three series with the #2 seed playing #7, #3 vs #6 and #4 vs #5 with the higher seed hosting. The four advancing teams will play in two single elimination semifinals at the higher seeded team, thus, the lowest seed remaining travels to #1, and the next highest seeded team would host the fourth team. The two winners would advance to a single elimination Championship Game with the highest remaining seed hosting.

Poll

Do you like that B1G conf games start in October now?

This poll is closed

  • 31%
    Yes
    (33 votes)
  • 11%
    No
    (12 votes)
  • 16%
    Don’t caaaaaaaare
    (18 votes)
  • 40%
    NOTHING SHORT OF THE OLD WCHA WILL EVER MAKE ME HAPPY AGAIN
    (43 votes)
106 votes total Vote Now
  • The Mariucci Classic is gone, but according to Nate Wells on his blog (which you really should be reading in addition to following him on Twitter, @gopherstate) the change is due to scheduling issues and the intent is to bring it back next year.
  • Minnesota only has one series at home the same weekend as a football game. It’s Penn State on 10/13 and 10/14, which is the same weekend as Michigan State comes to town for their first matchup against P.J. Fleck.
  • We’re playing Army!
  • The Gophers head up to Grand Forks to play the in House A Nazi Sympathizer Built on 10/20 and 10/21.
  • You’ll have to choose between watching the Gophers play for the Big Ten Title in Indianapolis and watching the Border Battle games versus Wisconsin in Mariucci, as both are the same weekend.*
*no I don’t actually expect Minnesota to be in the BTCG on 12/1 so don’t @ me about it

Quick thoughts

  • Can I say I kind of like the new conference schedule format? I know all the reasons why it might not be a great idea (meaningful games played early when a team might be firing on all cylinders, etc). That said, somehow it just feels like it could be good. Like Nate I’m interested to see how it plays out for TV coverage on BTN though.
  • If you’re a State of Hockey fan you’ll hate this schedule. Goodbye sweet North Star Cup, your time came far too soon.
  • I wish the conference could make sure Minnesota ended the season with Wisconsin every year and just rotate the home/away.
  • Still weird to see Notre Dame up there.

UPDATE 5/5

Some great thoughts in the comments from gopherguy05 that I’m adding to the post so no one misses them:

  • Minnesota originally was supposed to have a home and home against Mankato, but they either must have bought out the last two games of that contract or pushed it off a year to get the home series with Harvard. Either way thats a HUGE win for Minnesota and that will be a HUGE series with pairwise implications.
  • Having Big Ten games start early like they used to do in the old WCHA will be a nice fit…but for slow starting teams it will mean trouble. No more sucking early in non-con and warming up by the time the conference games start.
  • TV is going to be ugly for the first 6 weeks of the season. BTN won’t air any Saturday games in october for sure, and maybe only one in November. We will have a much better idea when the BTN Primetime FB schedule is released here in the next few weeks. Hope FSN picks up the IceBreaker from Duluth, otherwise that won’t be on TV. I’m sure FSN will make the trek up to Grand Forks though. The Clarkson and Michigan State series will be interesting….hopefully FSN will pick them up, but a lot will depend on conflicts with Wild/Wolves.
  • Only 2 non Fri/Sat games. A Thursday night at MSU due to the Gophers and MSU playing that Saturday at Madison Square Garden in the Big Ten double dip thing (Gopher BB plays Ohio St) and a Sunday home game against St Cloud in that home and home due to SCSU coach Bob Motzko being the head coach of the US World Junior Team, and the Gold Medal game being on that Friday in Buffalo.
  • I like them scheduling Army for that hole in the schedule due to the lack of the Mariucci Classic, and hopefully they can tie in giving a bunch of tickets to service members that weekend….because otherwise that place will be a ghost town with the Students gone.

What are your thoughts? Love it? Hate it? Just want hockey back?