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Gophers Draw Early-Season Hockey Game Against Minnesota-Duluth

Minnesota released its 2011-2012 men's hockey schedule on Friday as the Gophers look to rebound from a 16-14-6 season and make their first NCAA tournament appearance since 2008. A few things stand out in the schedule:

- Four games against North Dakota, including the first home series since January 2010.

- An early series with defending Frozen Four champion Minnesota-Duluth up in Duluth, Oct. 14-15.

- The return of the traditional home-and-home series against St. Cloud State after that not being in place last season.

- A Jan. 7 game against Notre Dame at a venue to be determined and the first Hall of Fame Game for the Gophers since 2006 against Maine. The Fighting Irish have been rumored to be a possible outdoor opponent, so it is interesting to see if a game at TCF Bank Stadium comes out in the following weeks.

- Despite the College Hockey Showcase ending last season, Minnesota will still play a Thanksgiving weekend series against fellow Big Ten team Michigan State in East Lansing.

- Niagara, Northeastern and Princeton coming into town for the annual Mariucci Classic.

The full hockey schedule after the jump.

2011-2012 Gophers Hockey Schedule

Oct 2 vs. British Columbia (Exhibition)

Oct 7-8 vs. Sacred Heart

Oct 14-15 @ Minnesota-Duluth

Oct 21-22 or 23* vs. Vermont

Oct 28-29 @ Alaska-Anchorage

Nov 4-5 vs. North Dakota

Nov 11-12 @ Wisconsin

Nov 18 @ St. Cloud State

Nov 19 vs. St. Cloud State

Nov 25-26 @ Michigan State

Dec 2-3 vs. Minnesota State

Dec 9-10 vs. Michigan Tech

Mariucci Classic

Dec 30-31 (Minnesota, Niagara, Northeastern, Princeton)

Hall of Fame Game

Jan 7 vs. Notre Dame (venue TBD)

Jan 13-14 @ North Dakota

Jan 20-21 vs. Colorado College

Jan 27 vs. St. Cloud State

Jan 28 @ St. Cloud State

Feb 10-11 @ Denver

Feb 17-18 vs. Bemidji State

Feb 24-25 @ Nebraska-Omaha

Mar 2-3 vs. Wisconsin

*The date of the second game will be announced later

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.