Hockey season is just 5 months away. I know, crazy. We're barely into Spring and football is just 4 months away itself. However, hockey is the never ending wheel and the WCHA showed us that with their full composite schedule for the upcoming season (found here).
While only one of the three MAC schools participate in the conference (Bowling Green), Western Michigan and Miami are featured after the NCHC only released the conference schedule earlier this Spring. We can go into the Falcons' full schedule, but let's just hit the highlights between the two schedules we know for sure (NCHC conference and WCHA full):
- We will have a full MAC-on-MAC slate this year. That's right! Get excited. For the first time since the CCHA folded following the 2013 season, we will have each of the possible six MAC-on-MAC scenarios (three possible games with two locations apiece) occur!
- We will have legitimate #MACtion. On ice! The first "MAC" game is October 13th when Bowling Green heads to Western Michigan. If you check your calendars, that's a Tuesday, which is extremely rare to see outside of the East Coast. This game also occurs a full THREE WEEKS BEFORE MIDWEEK FOOTBALL. You're welcome
- The WCHA vs NCHC "MAC games" are weird. Not for the teams in them, but the format. A midweek game is already weird, but making the second leg (where WMU goes to BG) a full TWO AND A HALF MONTHS after the first is a head-scratcher. The game is slated for December 30th, another midweek game, albeit over Winter Break, which isn't too uncommon. The Miami-BG games are split up across two weekends as well, with a month's time between the two games played on weekends.
- Other notables. WMU renews their rivalry with Ferris State for the first time since the CCHA folded as well. This "Battle of US-131" is generally physical, but results in some classic matches (see last meeting for example). That same weekend, the WCHA welcomes Arizona State to D-I hockey with a lovely trip to Alaska for their annual tournament. The Final Five returns back to Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, meaning a shorter trip for Falcon fans should they make it.