It is eagerly awaited each season, and it seems it comes later and later every year. On Wednesday the Minnesota Golden Gophers and the Big Ten officially announced the TV schedule for the 2018-19 season, Then on Thursday Bob Motzko and the Gophers named four seniors who will be captains and assistant captains on this year’s team.
It has always been interesting to see how the Gopher Hockey TV schedule comes together in the recent few seasons. With the Big Ten Hockey conference entering its fourth season and the multiple different TV affiliates that Minnesota’s games appear on, it can be a bit of a mixed bag wen it comes to coverage and game times. However, Gopher fans can relax and take a breath. At least 30 of Minnesota’s 35 regular season games will appear on TV locally in the Twin Cities with an additional three games yet to be announced. All but two of Minnesota’s games will take place on a Friday or Saturday, with the two exceptions being the home opener against UMD on October 7th and a Sunday afternoon game at Michigan State on January 20.
Eighteen of the 30 games currently set to be broadcast in the Twin Cities will air on either FSN or FSN+. Notable games on FSN or + will be the home opener against UMD on October 7th, all four games against Wisconsin, and the home series against Michigan.
Big Ten Network will air 10 Minnesota games this season including both games of four road conference series at Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and Penn State,
ESPN U will air just one Minnesota game this season, the Friday night game on January 4th against Penn State.
Minnesota’s opening game at UMD will be broadcast by MY9 locally in Duluth, and the broadcast will be simulcast on FOX9+ in the Twin Cities and in the rest of Minnesota.
The only Gopher home game, and in fact the only TV game that the Big Ten controls that will not currently be broadcast on TV is Saturday November 17 against St. Lawrence. The Gophers are looking to find an alternative viewing system for fans, whether than be a live stream or a different local network to pick up the broadcast.
One Gopher game will air on TV, but not locally in the Twin Cities. The US Hockey Hall of Fame Game against North Dakota in Los Vegas will air only on Midco Sports Network. North Dakota controls the broadcast rights to this game, and so far has only made it available locally in North Dakota and Northwestern Minnesota.
The last three games that have been yet to have TV assigned include three road games—November 3 at Minnesota State Mankato, and the series at Notre Dame on January 11-12. TV is expected to be announced for these games at a later date, and its expected that either TV or a live stream will be available to Gophers fans for all three games.
The full TV schedule minus the FOX9+ opener is below:
Oh Captains My Captains
On Thursday the Gopher Hockey team announced its captains for the 2018-19 season. Four senior forwards were honored. The two Captains include Tyler Sheehy and Brent Gates Jr, and the two assistant captains will be Jack Ramsey and Darian Romanko.
Sheehy enters his final season at Minnesota with 108 career points (44 goals, 64 assists) in 111 games. He is tied for second among active NCAA skaters in career points. After his sophomore season Sheehy was named a First Team All-American, the Big Ten Player of the Year and a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award.
Gates comes into his senior season with 54 career points (29 goals, 25 assists). He had his best season as a Gopher a year ago recording 26 points including 12 goals to tie for the team lead.
Ramsey who is more known for his famous father and sister who both previous played at the U has spent most of his career as a fourth line grinder. He has 20 career points (five goals, 15 assists) in 105 career games with Minnesota. He also had his best season as a Gopher last year scoring four goals and recording six assists.
Romanko has also spent most of his Gopher career as a fourth line grinder. The Shoreview native has played in 110 career games and recorded 19 points (six goals, 13 assists). he als had his best season as a Gopher as a junior with nine points including four goals in 2017-18. Romanko has played in 96-straight games for Minnesota – the longest active streak for Minnesota.
OT Three By Three?
Also on Thursday the Big Ten officially determined their overtime policy for the 2018-19 season. They have decided to join the NCHC and WCHA men in playing 5 minutes of 5x5 overtime to determine the official result for the pairwise. If the game remains tied the teams will then play five minutes of 3x3 overtime to try and decide the game for Big Ten conference points only. If the game remains tied after that, the teams will then go to a shootout to determine who will get the extra conference point. So, the shootout will still exist, but a lot more rarely than in the past.
A reminder that this is only for Big Ten conference games as the NCAA changed the rule earlier this season to limit non-conference games to just one five minute 5x5 overtime period to determine a winner, or the game will end in a tie.