Friday, July 14, 2017

Gopher women finalize 2017-18 schedule and roster

After releasing a tentative WCHA and non-conference schedule last month, Minnesota finalized dates for its 2017-18 campaign. The season officially begins September 29th at Ridder Arena against Merrimack.

For the most part the Gophers feature a consistent schedule across the board. All except two early season home series, including a major showdown with 2016 NCAA runner-up Wisconsin, feature games on Friday night and Saturday afternoon. All weekend games are in the afternoon.

For complete times click here.

2017-18 Minnesota Schedule

All games Friday/Saturday unless noted

9/24/17 (Sunday) - Korean National Team (Exhibition)
9/29/17 - Merrimack
10/1/17 (Sunday) - Merrimack
10/6/17 - Ohio State*
10/7/17 - Ohio State*
10/13/17 - at Bemidji State*
10/14/17 - at Bemidji State*
10/20/17 - at Minnesota Duluth*
10/21/17 - at Minnesota Duluth*
10/28/17 - Wisconsin*
10/29/17 (Sunday) - Wisconsin*
11/3/17 - at Minnesota State*
11/4/17 - at Minnesota State*
11/10/17 - at Mercyhurst
11/11/17 - at Mercyhurst
11/17/17 - St. Cloud State*
11/18/17 - St. Cloud State*
11/25/17 - at Lindenwood
11/26/17 (Sunday) - at Lindenwood
12/1/17 - Bemidji State*
12/2/17 - Bemidji State*
12/8/17 - Minnesota Duluth*
12/9/17 - Minnesota Duluth*
1/5-1/7/18 - BYE
1/9/18 (Tuesday) - St. Cloud State
1/12/18 - Vermont
1/13/18 - Vermont
1/19/18 - at Ohio State*
1/20/18 - at Ohio State*
1/26/18 - Minnesota State*
1/27/18 - Minnesota State*
2/2/18 - at St. Cloud State*
2/3/18 - at St. Cloud State*
2/9-2/11/18 - BYE
2/16/18 - at Wisconsin*
2/17/18 - at Wisconsin*

2018 WCHA Tournament
2/23-2/25/18 - WCHA Quarterfinals (best of three)+
3/3/18 - WCHA Final Face-Off Semifinals (Ridder Arena)
3/4/18 - WCHA Final Face-Off Championship Game (Ridder Arena)

2018 NCAA Tournament
3/10-3/11/18 - NCAA Quarterfinals+
3/16/18 - Frozen Four Semifinals (Ridder Arena)
3/18/18 - Frozen Four Championship Game (Ridder Arena)

*WCHA Conference Game
+Home ice at higher seed (In case of WCHA Tournament, #1 seed receives a bye to WCHA Final Face-Off.)

Minnesota also finalized its roster, adding five freshmen and a redshirt junior transfer to a team that will be missing Kelly Pannek (USA) and Sarah Potomak (Canada) due to Olympic centralization. (Amy Potomak, who signed a Letter of Intent to play at Minnesota and is the youngest player trying to make Canada's Olympic roster, will push back enrolling a year.) The five Gopher freshmen are forwards Taylor Wente and 2017 Minnesota Ms. Hockey Grace Zumwinkle, defenders Emily Brown and Olivia Knowles, and goaltender Alex Gulstene.

Edina native Jackie Pieper, transferring home from Merrimack, is the other new addition to Minnesota. The 5'7" forward, a high school teammate of Taylor Williamson, was fourth on the Warriors in 2016-17 with six goals in 34 games.

Spending the past two seasons captaining Merrimack, Pieper should be eligible to play immediately. NCAA rules allow women's hockey players to transfer without penalty out of conference (in conference can be different - i.e. those transferring within the WCHA, such as Nicole Schammel two seasons ago, must sit out a year. In cases like North Dakota shutting down its program players are eligible to play immediately regardless of ending up in conference). One side effect of Pieper transferring to play with the Gophers is, with Minnesota opening the year against Merrimack, she won't have to wait long to face her new team.

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