May 22, 2014
Update: The Gophers will also host two exhibition games during the 2014-15 season, opening the year against Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (Oct. 4) and playing the U.S. Under-18 Team (Nov. 21).
MINNEAPOLIS (GopherSports.com) – The 94th season of Gopher Hockey will kick off this October as the University of Minnesota looks to defend its Big Ten regular-season championship and return to the NCAA Frozen Four for the third time in four years.
Minnesota, in conjunction with the Big Ten Conference, announced its full 36-game regular-season schedule on Thursday, including the team’s 20-game conference slate leading up to the 2015 Big Ten Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament in Detroit.
For the first time since 2009-10, the Gophers will open the season on the road at Notre Dame for the 2014 Ice Breaker Tournament Oct. 10-12. In its second-straight appearance at the event, Minnesota will defend its Ice Breaker Tournament (won last year at Mariucci Arena) against Minnesota Duluth before playing either RPI or Notre Dame.
The Gophers open the 21st season at Mariucci Arena the following weekend against Bemidji State (Oct. 24-25) before taking on St. Cloud State (Oct. 31-Nov. 1) in a home-and-home series for a rematch of the 2014 NCAA West Regional final. Notre Dame then visits the Twin Cities for a non-conference series (Nov. 7-8) followed by a home-and-home series with Minnesota Duluth (Nov. 14-15). Minnesota will then head to the east coast to face Boston College Nov. 28 and Northeastern Nov. 29.
The Gophers kick off Big Ten play Dec. 5-6 with a trip to East Lansing to face Michigan State before the winter break and then start up again with the 24th Annual Mariucci Classic Jan. 2-3 with the Maroon & Gold hosting UMass-Lowell, RIT and Merrimack.
Minnesota returns to Big Ten action at Michigan* (Jan. 8-10) with the first conference home series of the year coming against Wisconsin* (Jan. 15-17).
The Gophers close out the non-conference schedule by defending their North Star College Cup title at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul on Jan. 23-24. The second annual event will see Minnesota take on Minnesota State in one semifinal while Minnesota Duluth and Bemidji State play in the other.
A road series at Wisconsin* (Jan. 29-31) follows the North Star College Cup with a home series against Ohio State* (Feb. 5-7) the next weekend. Michigan** comes to Mariucci Arena on Feb. 12-15 before the Gophers travel to State College to take on Penn State* (Feb. 19-21).
Minnesota’s regular season rounds out with a home series against Michigan State** (Feb. 26-March 1), a road trip to play the Buckeyes (March 6-7) and the regular-season home finale against the Nittany Lions (March 13-14).
The 2015 Big Ten Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament is scheduled for March 19-21 at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit with NCAA regional action a week later. The 2014-15 NCAA season culminates with the Frozen Four in Boston April 9-11.
The 2014-15 season marks head coach Don Lucia’s 15th season at Minnesota and 28th season as a Division I head coach. Lucia owns a 651-344-94 all-time coaching record with his 651 career wins standing as the 10th most all-time in NCAA history. Lucia also holds a 372-189-65 record at Minnesota and needs just 18 wins to match Doug Woog (390) for Minnesota’s all-time coaching wins record.
Minnesota’s first campaign in the Big Ten Conference was an outstanding success for the program. Backstopped by Big Ten Player and Goaltender of the Year and All-American Adam Wilcox, the Gophers captured the inaugural Big Ten regular-season championship and claimed a 28-7-6 overall record. Kyle Rau and Mike Reilly joined Wilcox as All-Americans while the Gophers earned the team’s 35th NCAA tournament berth and later advanced to the 21st Frozen Four in Minnesota history. The Maroon & Gold ended the season as the national runner-up with a talented lineup looking forward to more success in 2014-15.
Schedule subject to change. Game times and television schedule will be announced at a later date.
*One of this two-game series will be played on Friday while the other will be played on Thursday or Saturday.
**Series will be played Thursday/Friday, Friday/Saturday or Saturday Sunday.
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