On Monday the final 2022-23 Minnesota Gophers hockey schedule was released. Minnesota now knows it’s path to back to back Big Ten Hockey regular season championships and hopefully a trip back to the Frozen Four for the Gophers. Minnesota will see a trio of very familiar rivals in the non-conference portion of the schedule, gets their first warm weather road trip, and gets to open the season against a team playing it’s first ever Division I hockey game.
Minnesota’s schedule is relatively home heavy in the opening portion of the schedule with nine of their first 12 games played in the familiar confines of 3M Arena at Mariucci. The season picks off with a Saturday/ Sunday series on October 1st and 2nd when the Lindenwood Lions come to town for their first ever games as a Division I program. The school from St. Charles, Missouri has had a DI women’s team for several years, but this will be the first season at the DI level for the men’s team who is moving up from ACHA Club Hockey. Lindenwood’s team will be a mix of it’s former club players and other D1 transfers. Minnesota should in theory have an easy start to the season.
That last’s a whole week as the following weekend Minnesota plays a home and home again the team that has knocked them out of the last two NCAA Tournaments. The Minnesota State Mavericks will come to town on Friday October 7th before the Gophers make the return trip down Highway 169 for Saturday night’s game. After a week off, the Gophers return home for probably the most anticipated series of the season when their hated rivals from the University of North Dakota head to Minneapolis for a weekend series.
Minnesota opens Big Ten play the following weekend on the road in Columbus against the Ohio State Buckeyes before returning home for the first of back to back Thursday/Friday Big Ten series. Minnesota hosts Penn State on Thurs/Fri November 10th and 11th before the Gopher football team plays Northwestern at home on the 12th, and the following weekend will play another anticipated series at the Michigan Wolverines on Thursday Friday November 17th and 18 before the Wolveirnes host Illinois in football on the 19th.
Thanksgiving weekend will see the Gophers off to play in front of hopefully a lot of snowbirds as the Gophers make their first ever road trip to Arizona State to face the Sun Devils. It will also be a sneak peak for Logan Cooley when the #3 overall NHL pick plays his first two games in the home arena he will play his NHL games in for the Arizona Coyotes.
Minnesota closes out the pre-Christmas break portion of the schedule with two more Big Ten series as they head to East Lansing to face Michigan State December 2nd and 3rd and then host their other arch-rival the Wisconsin Badgers on December 9th and 10th.
After the holiday break the Gophers ramp up slowly with a pair of exhibition games at the end of December. Minnesota hosts the US-U-18 team which will feature several future Gophers including Oliver Moore and Beckett Hendrickson. Minnesota closes out 2022 in Bemidji for an exhibition game against the Beavers on New Years Eve.
The following weekend the Gophers ;lay their final non-conference series of the season when they face another familiar Minnesota foe in St. Cloud State. The Gophers will make the initial trip up I-94 on Friday night before everyone comes back to Minneapolis on Saturday.
The Gophers will have three straight conference series and then a bye weekend before closing out with three more. The Gophers head to Notre Dame January 13th and 14th before hosting the two Michigan schools on back to back weekends—the Wolverines on the 20th and 21st and the Spartans on the 27th and 28th.
After a bye week Minnesota closes out the regular season with four of their last six games on the road beginning with a trip to Madison to face the Badgers, and then what has become an annual tradition a trip to Penn State on THON Dance Marathon Weekend to face the Nittany Lions. The Gophers close out the regular season how they opened it with Ohio State on the schedule, this time in Minneapolis.
The Big Ten tournament will begin the following weekend at home sights with the regular season champion getting the bye and the other six teams facing off. The semifinals will take place the weekend of March 10th and 1th with the Big Ten Championship game slated for March 18th.
The four NCAA regionals will play between March 23-26 in either Allentown, PA, Bridgeport, CT, Fargo, or Manchester, NH. The 2023 Frozen Four returns to Tampa in 2023 taking place April 6th and 8th.
The full schedule is below. Specific game times and TV will be announced at a later date.
Other interesting Big Ten games of note include an outdoor game between Michigan and Ohio State at the Cleveland Browns stadium on February 18th, the Buckeyes and Badgers opening up the season with a conference series in Columbus on October 7th and 8th, Michigan playing a home and home series against Western Michigan at the end of October after bailing on the Broncos last December, and Notre Dame opening the season at defending NCAA Champion Denver.