Did you enjoy the 2013-2014 NCAA hockey season? Still appreciating it? The NCHC sure isn't. Even though they put a team in the Frozen Four, the proverbial PAC 12 of the hockey world announced their 2014-2015 conference slate yesterday.
To go with that, Miami has announced their full schedule now for next year, so we'll get to them in a minute. First, some highlights of the NCHC schedule:
- Western Michigan will open the NCHC slate at Lawson Ice Arena (unless Colorado College hosting North Dakota is played Friday afternoon, which is highly unlikely). Their opponent is Nebraska-Omaha, who loses the powerful Josh Archibald from last year. That is the weekend of October 17 & 18.
- Miami's first conference series isn't until October 31 & November 1. They head to Minnesota-Duluth. They will be the 7th team to start conference play, only ahead of defending regular season champion St. Cloud State.
- Miami opens home conference play the next weekend hosting Colorado College (who should be bad next year). Western Michigan heads to Denver. Both series are the respective teams' 2nd conference series.
- Our first sight of conference #MACtion occurs November 21 & 22 when Western Michigan heads to Miami.
- Western Michigan hosts Colorado College before the winter break on December 12 & 13. Miami is not scheduled to play a conference opponent. Conversely, Miami heads to St. Cloud State the first week after break while Western Michigan is not schedule to play.
- Full conference slates (4 games, featuring all 8 teams) don't begin until January 30 & 31. Coincidentally, our other #MACtion series is that same weekend when Western Michigan plays host to the RedHawks.
- Oddity as the week after that, the NCHC has a built-in bye week from conference play. Some teams may elect to use it as a bye (Miami will, WMU might). Others might have a late-season non-conference series.
- Both teams are home to end the season (March 6 & 7), as Western Michigan hosts Minnesota-Duluth and Miami hosts North Dakota. Pre-season salivation at that second one as both teams are expected to lead the conference next year.
So that should be fun!
But what about Miami's full schedule? Oh yeah, we have that too! And guess what? MAC-ON-MAC THE FIRST WEEK OF THE SEASON KIDDIES!
That's right, Miami and Bowling Green will open with a home-and-home series against each other on October 10 & 12 with a weird Friday/Sunday series. Bowling Green will host the first game.
The RedHawks then follow that up with a home and home against another former CCHA opponent in Ohio State. After that, a home series against St. Lawrence who should be bad after losing a powerful top line.
Other highlights include a trip to Florida for a winter break tournament, in which they open up against Notre Dame (/drools) and a post-New Years' Day series at RPI.
Western Michigan has yet to release their full schedule yet, but many details are slowly trickling out (another trip to Alaska for instance). Stay tuned to see what the Broncos have in store for their 2014-2015 season