Michigan State will enter the 2017-18 hockey season with a new head coach, as former head man of the U.S. National Team Developmental Program and Spartan alum Danton Cole takes over for Tom Anastos, who stepped down after six seasons at MSU.
The program finalized their schedule for the upcoming season, which features a high-profile game for the Spartans in the Big Apple.
Here it is, the 2017-18 schedule! pic.twitter.com/TFwpUh2eBx
— Michigan State Hockey (@MSU_Hockey) June 29, 2017
The January 20 “road” game vs. Minnesota will be played at Madison Square Garden, part of the Big Ten's relatively new annual “Super Saturday” multi-sport doubleheader series.
The Big Ten first kicked off this “Super Saturday” series in 2016, when Michigan and Penn State played each other in both men's hockey and men's basketball on the same Saturday; one in the afternoon and one at night. Last year, the Wisconsin men's hoops team played Rutgers at The Mecca and the Badgers' hockey team played Ohio State.
This year, it's Minnesota's turn to “play host” at the Garden for one Saturday. The Gophers' basketball team will play Ohio State on the same day.
With the addition of Notre Dame as a hockey affiliate beginning this upcoming season, the Big Ten will now have seven teams each playing a 24-game conference schedule, which was made public back in early May. MSU will first play their former CCHA rival and Big Ten newcomer Irish on December 1-2, before finishing the regular season in South Bend on February 23-24.
Other notable games on this docket include weekend series with more former CCHA rivals: home-and-home tilts with Bowling Green (October 13-14), Western Michigan (October 20-21) and Ferris State (November 17-18), with a home series vs. Lake Superior State (October 27-28) sprinkled in.
Both Michigan State and in-state conference rival Michigan will toe the ice at the new Little Caesars Arena for the first time during New Year's weekend, as part of the Great Lakes Invitation. Dates and times have not been finalized. MSU will be playing Michigan Tech in the event; the other match-up being Michigan vs. Bowling Green.
The annual “Duel in the D” showdown with Michigan will play its first installment at LCA on February 10, one day after the Spartans host the Wolverines in East Lansing.