Gophers release 2013-14 schedule

Minnesota will face Wisconsin in its inaugural series in the Big Ten.

by Drew Claussen

The Gophers knew for a while they would move to the Big Ten conference next season. The only question was which team they would open Big Ten play against.

Minnesota announced Wednesday that it will face Wisconsin on Nov. 29-30 at Mariucci Arena for its inaugural Big Ten series. Wisconsin, like the Gophers, is moving to the Big Ten from the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.

Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and Penn State are the other Big Ten schools with Division I hockey programs.

Minnesota will play 36 games next season, beginning with the Ice Breaker Tournament at Mariucci Arena. New Hampshire, Clarkson and Mercyhurst are the other teams in the tournament. The matchups haven’t been announced yet.

The Gophers will play their first road games the following weekend when they face Bemidji State at the Sanford Center.

Home nonconference opponents include Minnesota State, Mankato and Minnesota-Duluth, who will both play two-game series against the Gophers in November.

Minnesota’s other nonconference games include Boston College at home and Notre Dame on the road.

The Gophers will host the annual Mariucci Classic in January. The teams have yet to be announced.

The inaugural Minnesota Tournament will take place Jan. 24-25 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. The Gophers will be joined by St. Cloud State, MSU and UMD at the tournament.

The Big Ten tournament will also take place in St. Paul on March 20-22.