The Gophers women's hockey team will open its season Nov. 21 against Ohio State at Ridder Arena, according to a schedule released by the WCHA on Friday.

Each WCHA women's team will play eight games by Dec. 19 before breaking for the holidays. The post-break schedule will be announced later.

"One of our primary goals throughout our return to competition discussions has been to provide our student-athletes the opportunity to compete safely in a meaningful season," WCHA Women's League Commissioner Jennifer Flowers said in a statement.

"We are pleased to have determined a path that allows that to happen."

On Thursday, the Big Ten made a similar announcement for the men's hockey season; the Gophers men's team will play eight games between Nov. 19 and Dec. 9.

The WCHA women's openers will start Nov. 20, with Bemidji State at St. Cloud State and Minnesota Duluth at Minnesota State Mankato.

As part of the announcement, the WCHA noted that it's finalizing return-to-competition protocols and that state, local and university safety guidelines will be in force at all WCHA arenas throughout the season.

"We are thrilled to have the opportunity to start playing games," Gophers coach Brad Frost said in a statement. "Our group has been patiently waiting to get the green light, and we are very excited."

Joe Christensen