Gopher fans, your yearly complaints have been heard. All 20 of Minnesota’s Big Ten conference games will be televised for the first time ever.
29 of Minnesota’s 36 games are currently slated to be televised. That total is among 70+ games televised by Big Ten schools, including 26 (up from 22) on BTN - including the entire Big Ten conference tournament March 16-18, 2017 at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit - and 6 on ESPNU or ESPNEWS. All games on TV will also be available to stream online for free.
(The nearly full Big Ten schedule can be found here. While missing a couple games here and there like Michigan and ASU playing Nov. 4 on Pac-12 Network, the big takeaways are Wisconsin getting back to a nearly full slate of TV games, BTN’s improvement and Fox Sports Detroit cutting back outside of Michigan-MSU games.)
Minnesota’s games are split across BTN (10), FSN+ (10), Fox Sports North (7) and ESPNEWS (2).
Highlights include FSN showing the first regular season series since January 2013 against North Dakota, BTN showing the Big Ten conference opener against Ohio State December 2nd, Hockey Day Minnesota on FSN against Wisconsin in Madison January 21st, the North Star College Cup the following weekend, and ESPNEWS/BTN showing both games in Ann Arbor March 3-4. Even the Mariucci Classic sees both games televised.
Of the remaining untelevised games, six are non-conference road games, including the season-opening trip to Alaska for the Kendall Hockey Classic. The seventh, Saturday November 19th at home vs Minnesota State, faces multiple conflicts. Both the Minnesota Wild and Minnesota Timberwolves play that evening and BTN has football.
It should also be noted the Gophers do not have control over TV and streaming rights for non-conference road games. A couple have already found TV homes. It is entirely possible other games will be announced at a later date.
If there’s one negative to Monday’s TV announcement, keep getting used to some odd times. Despite Frozen Friday doubleheaders being a thing of the past with BTN only having a single doubleheader, there are 4 8:00 p.m. home starts during the first half. Minnesota also has 3 5:30 p.m. CT starts, begins 2016-17 dropping the puck in Alaska at 10:00 p.m. CT and a Sunday afternoon game in Boston against BC.
Minnesota’s TV Schedule can be found at the bottom of this post.
Other Gopher Hockey Notes:
-Minnesota’s 29 televised games comes just short of last season’s 31. The average in recent years has been around 30.
-If it comes down to streaming: Both Alaska games should be streamed on WCHA.tv for $8.99 apiece. Clarkson has free streaming for men’s hockey on its site while St. Lawrence should be too. Northeastern has historically been free. Boston College’s streaming service costs money.
-With only 11 days left until the regular season begins, Monday has been a busy day for news. If you missed it, Minnesota was picked to win the Big Ten by the coaches and began the year at #13 in the USCHO poll. A conference-high four Gophers - senior D Jake Bischoff, junior F Leon Bristedt, senior F Justin Kloos, and sophomore goalie Eric Schierhorn - were named to the Big Ten Preseason Watch List.
-Minnesota commits shined Thursday at the All-American Prospects Game in Philadelphia. Casey Mittelstadt (Eden Prairie) scored 2 goals and was named player of the game, which featured 42 2017 draft-eligible Americans. Fellow forward Brannon McManus (Newport Beach, CA/Omaha - USHL) had a goal and 2 assists. Defenseman Nate Knoepke (Farmington, MN/US U-18) also scored.
Our Jeff Cox was in Philadelphia and wrote his thoughts on all three here.
-Mittelstadt, who is playing at Green Bay (USHL) before and after the Minnesota HS season, had 1G-1A in his debut with the Gamblers. He also spoke with Guy Flaming and Taylor Medak on The Pipeline Show this past weekend.
-Gopher commit Clayton Phillips (Edina, MN) went from the All-American Prospects game to getting an award. He was named USHL Defenseman of the Week after scoring two goals for Fargo in his season debut Friday in a 7-4 win. His goals (the second of which was credited after the game) came on a power play and even strength, respectively.
Keep tuned to SB Nation College Hockey for more Minnesota and Big Ten coverage. I have plenty on tap leading up to the start of the season.
University of Minnesota 2016-17 TV Schedule (all times Central)
October 21, 2016 - 7 PM St. Cloud State at Minnesota (FSN+)
October 22, 2016 - 8 PM Minnesota at St. Cloud State (Fox Sports North)
November 4, 2016 - 7 PM North Dakota at Minnesota (Fox Sports North)
November 5, 2016 - 8 PM North Dakota at Minnesota (Fox Sports North)
November 18, 2016 - 7 PM Minnesota at Minnesota State (Fox Sports North)
December 2, 2016 - 8 PM Ohio State at Minnesota (BTN)
December 3, 2016 - 7 PM Ohio State at Minnesota (FSN+)
December 9, 2016 - 5:30 PM Minnesota at Michigan State (BTN)
December 10, 2016 - 7 PM Minnesota at Michigan State (BTN)
December 30, 2016 - 7 PM Minnesota vs. Mercyhurst (FSN+) - 26th Annual Mariucci Classic
December 31, 2016 - 7 PM Minnesota vs. UAH/UMass (FSN+) - 26th Annual Mariucci Classic
January 13, 2017 - 8 PM Michigan at Minnesota (BTN)
January 14, 2017 - 7 PM Michigan at Minnesota (FSN+)
January 20, 2017 - 7 PM Minnesota at Wisconsin (FSN)
January 21, 2017 - 5 PM Minnesota at Wisconsin (FSN) - Hockey Day Minnesota
January 27, 2017 - 7 PM Minnesota vs. UMD (FSN) - North Star College Cup at Xcel Energy Center
January 28, 2017 - 4/7 PM Minnesota vs. BSU/SCSU - North Star College Cup at Xcel Energy Center
February 3, 2017 - 7 PM Penn State at Minnesota (FSN+)
February 3, 2017 - 7 PM Penn State at Minnesota (BTN)
February 10, 2017 - 7 PM Minnesota at Ohio State (BTN)
February 11, 2017 - 7 PM Minnesota at Ohio State (BTN)
February 17, 2017 - 5:30 PM Minnesota at Penn State (BTN)
February 18, 2017 - 7 PM Minnesota at Penn State (BTN)
February 24, 2017 - 7 PM Wisconsin at Minnesota (FSN+)
February 25, 2017 - 7 PM Wisconsin at Minnesota (FSN+)
March 3, 2017 - 5:30 PM Minnesota at Michigan (ESPNEWS)
March 4, 2017 - 7:30 PM Minnesota at Michigan (BTN)
March 10, 2017 - 6:30 PM Michigan State at Minnesota (ESPNEWS)
March 11, 2017 - 7 PM Michigan State at Minnesota (FSN+)
March 16-18 - Big Ten Conference Championships at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit (BTN)
Nathan Wells is a college hockey columnist for SB Nation mostly covering both the University of Minnesota and Big Ten. You can also follow him on Twitter -- Follow @gopherstate