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Gophers' Big Ten hockey title defense begins Oct. 28 at Ohio State

The release of the full Minnesota Gophers 2022-23 schedule shows a three-week road trip, a pair of exhibition games and a pre-Halloween start to their conference schedule.

Minnesota vs University of Massachusetts, UMASS, NCAA
Minnesota defenseman Ryan Johnson (23) was congratulated by teammates Matthew Knies (left), Ben Meyers (second from right) and Jackson LaCombe (right) after scoring the team's first goal of the NCAA playoffs in the first period of their game versus UMass on Friday, March 25, 2022 at the DCU Center in Worcester, Mass.
Brad Rempel / University of Minnesota Athletics
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MINNEAPOLIS – The Minnesota Gophers will begin defense of their 2022 Big Ten regular season title on a Friday night in October in central Ohio. With the release of the Gophers’ full 34-game regular season schedule on Monday, Aug. 22, we learned what pitfalls lie ahead as they seek a return to the Frozen Four.

The nonconference schedule was already known, but on Monday the 24 Big Ten games were announced, showing the Gophers opening conference play at Ohio State with a Friday-Saturday series there Oct. 28-29. The team’s conference home opener is the following weekend when the Gophers host Notre Dame for a two-games Nov. 4-5.

Perhaps the toughest stretch in the schedule comes later in November, when the Gophers will be on the road for three consecutive weekends, with Big Ten series at Michigan (Nov. 17-18) and at Michigan State (Dec. 2-3) bracketing a nonconference trip to Arizona State over Thanksgiving weekend (Nov. 25-26). Of note, the series at Michigan is a Thursday-Friday affair, to avoid a Wolverines home football game with Illinois on Saturday, Nov. 19

The unofficial first half comes to a close on Dec. 9-10 when the Gophers host arch-rival Wisconsin for a pair, then they are off for nearly three weeks before hosting the USA Hockey U-18 team in a Dec. 29 exhibition game. Their other exhibition game will be New Years Eve at Bemidji State.

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Playing in what may be his professional home someday, Gophers rookie Logan Cooley put on a show, while Justen Close made an emphatic return from illness as Minnesota survived a strong challenge from the Sun Devils.
Similar to last week, the Gophers’ rivalry game on Saturday against Wisconsin will have more than Paul Bunyan’s Axe on the line.
Minnesota (4-1) will play UNLV on Wednesday night for the neutral-site tournament championship.
MINNEAPOLIS -- The University of Minnesota football team worked quickly to move on from Saturday’s 13-10 loss to Iowa, holding a brief five-minute team meeting Sunday.
Minnesota, ranked No. 1 or 2 in national polls, falls to 9-2-2 this season. Wisconsin is 11-2-1.
Gophers coach P.J. Fleck claimed he was disappointed but not discouraged by the result. But elements of despondency could be excused for the way it went down.
Minnesota has now lost 7 straight against its border rival
Fleck in search of 1st victory over the Hawkeyes
Jaxon Nelson scored twice and rookie goalie Owen Bartoszkiewicz put in a strong performance for a 6-3 win and a weekend sweep of the Wolverines.
Minnesota has lost 7 straight to Iowa and 17 of the last 21
Minnesota was a 10-point favorite against Central Michigan, which went 7-23 last year and were picked to finish 10th in the 12-team Mid-American Conference.
Bison hand the Gophers their first loss of the season.

After a final nonconference home-and-home series with in-state rival St. Cloud State on Jan. 7-8, the Gophers have six consecutive Big Ten series to close the regular season, with visits by Michigan (Jan. 20-21), Michigan State (Jan. 27-28) and Ohio State (Feb. 24-25) and trips to Notre Dame (Jan. 13-14), Wisconsin (Feb. 10-11) and Penn State (Feb. 17-18).

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The Gophers went 26-13-0 last season, winning the Big Ten for the first time under Bob Motzko with a 18-6-0 conference mark and advancing to the Frozen Four for the first time since 2014. For optimistic fans who like to plan ahead, the 2023 Frozen Four will be in Tampa, Florida, starting on April 6.

Jess Myers covers college hockey, as well as outdoors, general sports and travel, for The Rink Live and the Forum Communications family of publications. He came to FCC in 2018 after three decades of covering sports as a freelancer for a variety of publications, while working full time in politics and media relations. A native of Warroad, Minn. (the real Hockeytown USA), Myers has a degree in journalism/communications from the University of Minnesota Duluth. He lives in the Twin Cities. Contact Jess via email at jrmyers@forumcomm.com, or find him on Twitter via @JessRMyers. English speaker.
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