Trip to Vegas highlights U men's hockey nonconference schedule

The Gophers men's hockey team announced its nonconference schedule on Tuesday, with the regular season opening with a pair of games in Las Vegas and three series against in-state opponents.

The Gophers officially open play at the 2024 Ice Breaker at Las Vegas' Orleans Arena on Oct. 11 against Air Force, and they will play either Massachusetts or Nebraska Omaha the following day.

The remainder of the 12-game nonconference schedule will be played in Minnesota. The Gophers visit Minnesota Duluth on Oct. 18 and 19. Their home opener is Oct. 25 against St. Thomas at 3M Arena at Mariucci, and the teams meet at Xcel Energy Center again the following day.

On Nov. 14, the Gophers will play host to Bemidji State, and the teams will play in Bemidji on Nov. 16. The remaining two nonconference series are at home, against Alaska Nov. 29-30 and against Mercyhurst Jan. 3-4.

The Gophers will also hold an exhibition game against St. Cloud State, coach Bob Motzko's old team, on Oct. 5 at 3M Arena at Mariucci.

The Big Ten schedule has yet to be announced; last year it was revealed Aug. 28.

The Gophers are coming off a 23-11-5 season, losing in the regional finals of the NCAA tournament to Boston University.