Penn State Hockey

Penn State men’s hockey: Notre Dame visit highlights next season’s schedule

The start of a series with Notre Dame, and 18 home dates, highlights the Penn State schedule for the 2015-16 season announced Tuesday.

The 36-game regular-season schedule also features another trip to Alaska and a return to Madison Square Garden, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.

The Nittany Lions have set a four-year contract with the Fighting Irish starting this coming season. Notre Dame will be the home opener for the regular season, visiting Pegula Ice Arena on Oct. 16-17.

Preceding the Irish visit, Penn State will host Windsor for an exhibition game Oct. 4, just after the start of practices. Tickets to the game against the Canadian university are not included in season ticket packages.

The regular season begins Oct. 10, with a trip to Buffalo, N.Y., to meet Canisius.

Other home non-conference games include American International (Oct. 23-24), St. Lawrence (Oct. 29-30), Sacred Heart (Nov. 13-14) and Princeton (Dec. 11). The Big Ten home schedule includes Michigan State (Dec. 4-5), Minnesota (Jan. 8-9), Wisconsin (Jan. 15-16), Michigan (Jan. 28) and Ohio State (Feb. 19-20).

The second road trip of the season is also to Western New York, visiting Niagara (Nov. 6) ahead of a trip to Alaska Anchorage (Nov. 20-21) and Big Ten dates at Ohio State (Jan. 22-23), Minnesota (Feb. 5-6), Michigan State (Feb. 12-13), Wisconsin (March 4-5) and Michigan (March 11-12).

Penn State plays 11 of its final 14 conference games away from home.

The schedule also inludes a return to Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center to meet Vermont (Nov. 29), Pittsburgh’s Consol Energy Center for the Three Rivers Classic (Robert Morris, Dec. 29; Massachusetts-Lowell or Clarkson, Dec. 30) and New York’s Madison Square Garden to meet Michigan (Jan. 30).

The Nittany Lions lose a conference home game to face the Wolverines as part of the Big Ten Hoops & Hockey doubleheader, with the basketball teams from the schools meeting on the same day in the arena.