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Mavericks blasting out of the blocks again in 2022-23 as MSU team and CCHA conference schedules revealed

Minnesota State Mankato opens the 2022-23 season with a Frozen Four rematch versus in-state rival Minnesota, while Michigan Tech will host Bowling Green for their annual Winter Carnival series in 2023.

2022 Frozen Four - Minnesota State vs Minnesota
Ondrej Pavel and the Minnesota State University Mavericks celebrate against the Minnesota Golden Gophers in a 2022 Division I Men’s Frozen Four semifinal game Thursday, April 7, 2022, at TD Garden in Boston, MA.
Jim Rosvold / The Rink Live

MANKATO – The idea of easing into the college hockey season with a few lightly-regarded opponents on the early October schedule remains a foreign concept to Minnesota State Mankato head coach Mike Hastings.

The recent simultaneous releases of the Mavericks’ 2022-23 schedule and the conference schedule for the entire Central Collegiate Hockey Conference revealed that for the second consecutive year, MSU is taking on a big challenge right from the start.

Last season – which ended with the Mavericks claiming their first Hobey Baker Award winner in Dryden McKay and holding a third period lead in the NCAA title game – began with MSU traveling to then-defending national champion UMass and sweeping the Minutemen. This time around, the Mavericks open with a Frozen Four rematch versus their biggest non-conference rivals, facing Minnesota on the road on Oct. 7 and in Mankato the following night.

MSU’s schedule in October is dominated by in-state foes, as they host Minnesota Duluth for a pair of games Oct. 14-15 then travel to St. Cloud State for games on Oct. 21-22. The Mavericks open CCHA play by hosting Bowling Green for a pair on Oct. 28-29.

That will be the Falcons’ second sizable trip of October. Bowling Green opens the season Oct. 1-2 (a Saturday-Sunday series) at Northern Michigan. The Upper Peninsula weather will likely be notably different on Feb. 10-11 when Michigan Tech hosts the Falcons for the Huskies’ annual Winter Carnival series.

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All eight CCHA teams will play conference foes for the first time on the weekend of Nov. 4-5, with MSU and in-state rival St. Thomas playing a home-and-home series. A bit further north that weekend, Bemidji State fans who aren’t in the woods for Minnesota’s annual deer season opener can catch the Beavers hosting Ferris State for a pair of games.

Mavericks fans wanting a break from the cold can head south the weekend of Jan. 13-14 for a non-conference series at Arizona State’s new on-campus arena. They dive back into in-state play during the final month of the regular season with another St. Thomas home-and-home on Feb. 3-4 and a visit to Bemidji State on Feb. 17-18.

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Minnesota State University-Mankato lines up for the start of their game against St. Thomas University during Hockey Day Minnesota on Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022, at Blakeslee Stadium in Mankato.
Jason Wachter / The Rink Live

The CCHA regular season concludes on Feb. 25 with the awarding of the MacNaughton Cup to the regular season champions. First round conference best-of-three playoff series will be held March 3-5, hosted by the top four finishers in the eight-team league. The four teams that advance out of round one will play a pair of single-elimination semifinal games on the higher seed’s campus the following weekend.

The CCHA tournament title game, hosted by the highest remaining seed, will be played March 18 with the winner getting the Mason Cup and an automatic invite to the 16-team NCAA tournament. MSU won the conference’s first regular season and tournament titles in 2021-22.

The full MSU schedule can be found here .

Jess Myers covers college hockey, as well as outdoors, general sports and travel, for The Rink Live and the Forum Communications family of publications. He came to FCC in 2018 after three decades of covering sports as a freelancer for a variety of publications, while working full time in politics and media relations. A native of Warroad, Minn. (the real Hockeytown USA), Myers has a degree in journalism/communications from the University of Minnesota Duluth. He lives in the Twin Cities. Contact Jess via email at jrmyers@forumcomm.com, or find him on Twitter via @JessRMyers. English speaker.
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