The 2017-18 regular season started earlier than ever for the University of Wisconsin men's hockey team, and it features a beginning stretch never seen before. 

The regular-season opener Oct. 1 against Michigan Tech in the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Game was two days earlier than the previous early entry on the calendar - the Hall of Fame contest in 1998 against Notre Dame that opened the Kohl Center for hockey.

The opener also kicked off an 11-week unbroken stretch of games that takes the Badgers into the December break. That's the longest run of consecutive weekends with a game to start a season in UW history. 

The 34-game schedule brings former Western Collegiate Hockey Association rival North Dakota to the Kohl Center and adds four contests against new Big Ten Conference foe Notre Dame. 

Here's State Journal reporter Todd Milewski's breakdown of Wisconsin's opponents: