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Take a good, long look at that Olympic-sized ice sheet at 3M Arena at Mariucci this upcoming winter, because beginning in the 2023-24 Gophers men's hockey season, it will be smaller.

The University of Minnesota Board of Regents on Thursday approved a $14 million project that will downsize the Mariucci ice sheet from its current 100 feet wide by 200 feet long. Though final design details are forthcoming, the Gophers in 2014 indicated they'd explore a size of 92.5x200, which is closer to the 85x200 size that is the standard in the NHL.

The project, part of the university's capital improvement budget for the 2023 fiscal year, will require the lowering of the Mariucci floor and the addition of a row of seats at ice level to maintain proper sight lines. In addition, the ice-making and discontinued refrigerant systems at Mariucci and Ridder arenas will be replaced, Mariucci after the upcoming season and Ridder in the following offseason.

Olympic-sized ice sheets became popular in the 1990s, and Mariucci opened in 1993 with one. The trend in college hockey recently has been using an NHL-sized sheet or a hybrid size. NCAA tournament games are mainly played on NHL-sized sheets, and the Gophers practice on Ridder Arena's 85x200 surface before they travel to face an opponent with an NHL sheet.

Johnson, Rossi extensions approved

The board also approved the contract extensions for men's basketball coach Ben Johnson and football defensive coordinator Joe Rossi.

Johnson, who'll enter his second season in 2022-23, received a one-year extension through the 2026-27 season, and his salary will remain $1.95 million as will his buyout terms.

Rossi received a one-year extension through the 2024 season and raises of $50,000 in both 2023 and 2024. He will make $800,000 this season, $850,000 in 2023 and $900,000 in 2024. His buyout figures increase after the 2022 and 2023 seasons unless he leaves for a Division I head coaching job.