Taking a Look at the 2016-17 Michigan State Hockey Schedule

Taking+a+Look+at+the+2016-17+Michigan+State+Hockey+Schedule

The 2016-17 schedule for the Michigan State hockey team has just been announced!

The Spartans will play 14 nonconference games this season, including the two games of the Great Lakes Invitational tournament. In addition, MSU will play its usual set of 20 Big Ten conference games with the conference opener at home against Minnesota on Dec. 9.

The schedule itself can be found below.

Looking at the nonconference schedule, there are very few differences from last year’s in terms of opponents. This year, however, MSU will host the Princeton Tigers for a single game set in late October and participate in a home-and-home series against former CCHA foe Ferris State.

Michigan State will open their season on the road against Lake Superior State. This will be an early challenge for a fairly young Spartan team. Last year, MSU only split the home series against the Lakers. That split included MSU’s third loss in four games and tempered some of the early enthusiasm surrounding the season (MSU started 1-0-1 for the year).

Another series which will present a challenge for the Spartans will be the road trip to North Dakota over Thanksgiving. Michigan State has had some trouble recently with games over Thanksgiving break. They are a combined 1-5-0 when playing within a few days of the holiday the past three years. Ralph Engelstad Arena won’t be an easy task by any means, but it is still possible that the Spartans could steal a game from the Fighting Hawks.

This year also marks the last Great Lakes Invitational Tournament at Joe Louis Arena. The Spartans will face off against the Broncos of Western Michigan University in the semifinal game on Dec. 29. Depending on the outcome of that game, MSU will play either Michigan or Michigan Tech in the GLI finals or the consolation game on Dec. 30.

The Michigan series will take place over the course of three weeks. MSU will play the Wolverines at home for the only time this season on Jan. 20. The showdown takes place right in the middle of the school year, so there should be plenty of students on hand as Michigan State will attempt to pick up their first home win against the maize and blue since March 8, 2014. After the first home-and-home series, the two rivals will play again two weeks later at the last Duel in the D in Joe Louis Arena and again in Ann Arbor the following day. The Spartans will be the home team for the Joe Louis game.

The Big Ten tournament will also take place at the Joe from March 16-18. This will be the last year of the current postseason format before the Big Ten moves to a campus-site format. The change to a new postseason format has come in the wake of low attendance figures, negative feedback from fans and coaches and the addition of Notre Dame as an affiliate member for hockey.

Michigan State will start their season with an exhibition game Oct. 2 against the University of Toronto.