The Minnesota State men's hockey team will have a challenging nonconference schedule in 2017-18, one that includes two in-state rivals and a trip east to face a national power.
The Mavericks will begin the regular season on Oct. 7 at home with a nonconference game against St. Cloud State on Oct. 7 and will follow that with a two-game series at Boston University. The Hockey East-member Terriers, some already have predicted, could be among the nation's top five teams to start the season.
Minnesota State will wrap up the home-and-home series with St. Cloud State on Wednesday, Nov. 22, to start a Thanksgiving road trip. The back end of that swing will be a nonconference game at Minnesota Duluth on Saturday, Nov. 25.
The Mavericks will host UMD, last season's national runner-up, on Jan. 23 in a rare Tuesday game.
As for the Mavericks' Western Collegiate Hockey Association schedule, the Mavericks will host Michigan Tech (Oct. 27-28), Bowling Green (Nov. 17-18), Alabama Huntsville (Dec. 15-16), Northern Michigan (Dec. 29-30), Alaska Anchorage (Feb. 2-3), Ferris Sate (Feb. 16-17) and Bemidji State (Feb. 23-24).
On the road, Minnesota State will be making a long post-holidays trip to Alaska, playing at Anchorage and Fairbanks on back-to-back weekends (Jan. 5-6, Jan. 12-13). Other WCHA road games include: Bowling Green (Oct. 20-21), Northern Michigan (Nov. 3-4), Bemidji State (Nov. 10-11), Lake Superior State (Dec. 8-9) and Alabama-Huntsville (Feb. 9-10).
The Mavericks will play 34 regular-season games. Just five of their first 17 games are at home, however, they will be at home for seven of their final nine games.
Minnesota State has scheduled two exhibition games at home: Sunday, Oct. 1 against Regina and Saturday, Jan. 27 against the U.S. National Team Development Program.
Thanks to an alert commenter, I looked into this: Minnesota is not on MSU's schedule in any form (including the now-defunct North Star College Cup) for the first time since the 1996-97 season, which was the Mavericks' first year of Division I.
More information can be found on MSU's press release and the WCHA's composite schedule can be found here.