When the Gophers men's hockey team finished a sweep at Michigan on Dec. 9, running its record to a perfect 8-0 in completing the first portion of its 2020-21 schedule, something was missing: when and where the Gophers would play their next game.
The Big Ten had yet to release its post-December schedule, and coaches were getting antsy.
"You can best be assured that there are some coaches who are sending texts and e-mails asking why we don't have this,'' Gophers coach Bob Motzko said at the time.
At long last on Friday afternoon, those texts and e-mails were answered. The Big Ten announced the remainder of its regular-season schedule, and the Gophers will return to action Jan. 3-4 with a nonconference, Sunday-Monday series against Arizona State at 3M Arena at Mariucci.
The Gophers will play 20 games in the second portion of the season, and they resume Big Ten play Jan. 9-10 with a Border Battle series at Wisconsin. Minnesota leads the Big Ten standings with 24 points, eight ahead of the second-place Badgers.
Twelve of the 20 second-half games for the Gophers are at home, with series against Notre Dame (Jan. 15-16), Arizona State again (Jan. 21-22), Wisconsin (Feb. 5-6), Michigan State (Feb. 19-20) and the final regular-season series March 5-6 against Michigan.
At this time, there will be no ticket sales for Gophers home games because of Minnesota Department of Health guidelines specify that all entertainment venues are required to be closed to the public.
Minnesota's other three road series are: Jan. 29-30 at Ohio State, Feb. 12-13 at Notre Dame and Feb. 26-27 at Penn State. The Gophers will play seven series, including their final six, on Fridays and Saturdays.
Details on TV broadcasts will be announced later, as will the format of the Big Ten tournament.
The remaining schedule:
Jan. 3-4: vs. Arizona State*
Jan. 9-10: at Wisconsin
Jan. 15-16: vs. Notre Dame
Jan. 21-22: vs. Arizona State*
Jan. 29-30: at Ohio State
Feb. 5-6: vs. Wisconsin
Feb. 12-13: at Notre Dame
Feb. 19-20: vs. Michigan State
Feb. 26-27: at Penn State
March 5-6: vs. Michigan
* nonconference series