The State of Hockey is about to get just what the doctor ordered. The Minnesota Wild announced their 2021 schedule Wednesday. The second segment of the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers hockey schedules recently were released. High School hockey teams will begin practice Monday, January 4. For the record, junior hockey teams in the region have played through the current 'pause' in youth sports by traveling out-of-state.

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The Wild will embark on a 56-game schedule with back-to-back games in Los Angeles January 14 and 16. The revamped schedule from the NHL has teams each other twice, and sometimes four times in a row. See the schedule in the Star Tribune.

Minnesota will play in the revised Western Conference with St. Louis, Colorado, Vegas, Arizona, Anaheim, LA, and San Jose. All those Western time zone starts don't sit well with some fans. KDHL Sports Director Gordy Kosfeld, who rises early each morning, blogged on the topic.

The top-ranked, unbeaten Gopher men's hockey squad returns to play Sunday, January 3, hosting Arizona State in a two-game series. Minnesota will play at Wisconsin January 9-10 and then host Notre Dame January 15-16. See the full schedule. Minnesota (8-0) hasn't played since a 2-0 win at Michigan December 9.

The team will continue to play in an empty home arena according to the news release, "At this time, there will be no ticket sales for Gophers men's hockey home games as Minnesota Department of Health guidelines specify that all entertainment venues are required to be closed to members of the public."

Gopher women's hockey returns to action January 4-5 with a home series against UMD. Minnesota will face St. Cloud State in a home-and-home series January 9-10.

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