EAST LANSING – The Michigan State hockey program released its schedule for the upcoming season on Thursday, June 2. The 2016-17 schedule consists of 34 regular-season games, including 20 Big Ten Conference matchups.

Half of the Spartans’ 14 nonconference games will be against opponents that were part of last year’s NCAA Tournament, including Frozen Four participants Denver and national champion North Dakota.

The Spartans will play five nonconference road games, beginning when they open the season Oct. 14-15 at Lake Superior State.

The 16-game home schedule begins Oct. 21-22 when the Spartans host Denver. It will be the Pioneers’ first appearance at Munn Arena since 1981.

MSU will host Princeton for one game on Friday, Oct. 28 before continuing its homestand the following weekend against Michigan Tech, Nov. 4-5.

Michigan State and Ferris State will play a home-and-home series Nov. 11-12 with the first game being played at Munn and the following night in Big Rapids.

After a week off, Michigan State heads to North Dakota for a Thanksgiving weekend clash at Ralph Engelstad Arena, Nov. 25-26.

Big Ten play begins Dec. 9-10 when the Spartans host Minnesota at Munn Arena. The final game before Christmas will be Dec. 18 when the Spartans welcome 2016 Hockey East champion Northeastern.

The 52nd annual Great Lakes Invitational will take place Dec. 29-30 at Joe Louis Arena with MSU meeting Western Michigan for a right to play in the title game the following day.

The 2017 calendar year begins with consecutive road trips for the Spartans as they’ll travel to Wisconsin, Jan. 6-7, and then Penn State, Feb. 13-14.

The Spartans will make their first of two trips to Ann Arbor to take on Michigan, Jan. 20, while the teams will meet the following day, Jan. 21, in East Lansing.

MSU will play six home games in the month of February, including Feb. 3-4 vs. Wisconsin; Feb. 17-18 vs. Ohio State; and Feb. 24-25 vs. Penn State.

Michigan State and Michigan will complete their season series Feb. 10 with the annual game at Joe Louis Arena and then Feb. 11 in Ann Arbor.

The Spartans close the regular season at Ohio State, March 3-4, and at Minnesota, March 10-11.

The 2017 Big Ten Tournament will take place at Joe Louis Arena, March 16-18.

Michigan State will play two exhibition games, the first of which will be Oct. 2 when fans can get their first glimpse of the Spartans as they host the University of Toronto. MSU will host the U.S. National Team Development Program U-18 squad on Dec. 2.

Start times and TV information will be announced at a later date.