MINNEAPOLIS (GopherSports.com) - The schedule for 97th season of Gopher Hockey has been set as the four-time defending Big Ten champions aim to return to the NCAA Frozen Four, hosted by the University of Minnesota in 2018 at Xcel Energy Center.
A full breakdown of Minnesota's 36-game regular-season schedule including 19-home games (along with one exhibition game) can be found on GopherSports.com.
Following an exhibition game with Alberta on Oct. 1, Minnesota officially kick off the 2017-18 campaign with the Ice Breaker Tournament at AMSOIL Arena in Duluth, Oct. 6-7, with Minnesota Duluth hosting the Gophers as well as Union and Michigan Tech. The Maroon & Gold won back-to-back Ice Breaker Tournaments in the program's last two appearances (2013-14) and share the NCAA lead at three overall titles with Boston University. This year's appearance will mark Minnesota's fifth Ice Breaker Tournament.
With the addition of Notre Dame to the Big Ten, the Gophers open the new 24-game conference schedule against Penn State at Mariucci Arena, Oct. 6-7, as the defending Big Ten regular-season champions host the defending Big Ten tournament champions.
Minnesota follows up with the program's first trip to North Dakota since 2012 on Oct. 20-21 before closing out October with a two-game series at Mariucci Arena against Clarkson on Oct. 27-28. The Gophers host Michigan State, Nov. 3-4, and then head to Ann Arbor to play Michigan on Nov. 10-11. Harvard comes to Mariucci Arena for a two-game series, Nov. 17-18, with the Maroon & Gold the heading to South Bend as the Gophers take on Notre Dame for the first time as Big Ten rivals on Nov. 24-25. December brings about the first weekend of the Border Battle as Minnesota hosts Wisconsin, Dec. 1-2, while the Gophers close out the first half at Ohio State on Dec. 8-9.
The Maroon & Gold host Army for a two-game series, Dec. 29-30, at Mariucci Arena and then play St. Cloud State in a home-and-home series on Jan. 6-7 for the final regular-season nonconference games of the schedule. Following a home series with Michigan on Jan. 12-13, the Gophers play Michigan State in East Lansing on Jan. 18 before participating in the Big Ten doubleheader at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 20. A two-game series with Notre Dame at Mariucci Arena follows on Jan. 26-27 followed by a road trip to Wisconsin on Feb. 9-10.
Minnesota will host its final regular-season series of the campaign on Feb. 16-17 when Ohio State visits campus before closing out the regular season at Penn State on Feb. 23-24.
The 2017-18 campaign will see a new format to the Big Ten playoffs with the best-of-three quarterfinal series slated for March 2-4 followed by single-game matchups for the semifinals (March 10) and championship game (March 17). High seeds will host all games during the Big Ten playoffs while the top overall seed will receive a bye for the quarterfinal series.
Following NCAA regional action, the 2018 NCAA Frozen Four returns to Xcel Energy Center on April 5-7 as the University of Minnesota hosts the event for the eighth time in school history. Xcel Energy Center has hosted the Frozen Four twice previously in 2002 and 2011.
Schedule subject to change. Game times and broadcast information will be released at a later date.
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