Fox Sports North and Hockey Day Minnesota announced that the 12th annual Hockey Day Minnesota Event will take place on January 20, 2018 today. Earlier in April it was announced that St. Cloud would be the host city for the 2018 events. Wednesday we found out that the events will have a very significant St. Cloud slant...so much so that for the first time in the twelve year history of the event the Gopher Hockey team will not be apart of the event.
Good news! #HDM2018 presented by @WellsFargo is on January 20, 2018.— Hockey Day Minnesota (@HockeyDayMN) July 5, 2017
Check out the match-ups & times → https://t.co/WLonFYRPeE pic.twitter.com/8EZr0BaPXO
With St. Cloud being the host, the St. Cloud State Huskies will take center stage. Not only will the Huskie men’s team host Minnesota State-Mankato in the usual 5PM slot the Gophers would play in, but the Huskie women will host UMD in a game on the outside ice at 1:00. It will be the first womens game that will air as a main portion of the event in the twelve year history.
We may never know if the Gophers got the snub due to Fox Sports North wanting to give some other portions of the State of Hockey some attention, or was it purely a scheduling conflict. Minnesota could not have been a part of the event on January 20th, as the Gophers will be a part of another large event that day. The Gophers will play Michigan State at Madison Square Garden as a part of the Big Ten Super Saturday Basketball/Hockey doubleheader event. The Gopher Basketball team will play Ohio State earlier that afternoon at Madison Square Garden as well. Obviously that event will air on BTN, so Fox Sports North never had a chance to air the Gopher Hockey game.
It will be interesting to see the ratings after the fact, as its a fact that Gopher Hockey brings in viewers. Minnesota games have been the highest rated games on BTN annually, and the Minnesota/Notre Dame NCAA Regional game was the highest rated NCAA First round game on ESPNU last March.
While Hockey Day Minnesota is still a great event for the state, at least for Gopher fans it will take a significant step back in 2018.