Posted at: 03/27/2013 8:27 PM
By: Bpb Nygaard
Next fall will mark the start of a new era for the University of Minnesota Duluth men's hockey program as the Bulldogs will engage in their first season of National Collegiate Hockey Association play.
Those 24 NCHC league games, along a January trip to the Xcel Energy Center for an inaugural tournament featuring three intrastate rivals, are among the highlights of UMD's 2013-14 schedule, which was officially released today.
The Bulldogs, who completed the 2012-13 season two weeks ago, will launch their 70th year of intercollegiate competition at AMSOIL Arena on Oct. 11-12 with a non-conference series against former Western Collegiate Hockey Association colleague Michigan Tech University.
The following weekend (Oct. 18-19), UMD is at Colorado College for a pair of NCHC clashes with the Friday game -- the opening night of NCHC activity -- being televised nationally on CBS College Sports Network before it returns home to face the University of Notre Dame on Oct. 25-26
With the exception of a Jan. 3 exhibition engagement versus the U.S. Under-18 National Team and a possible matchup with a Canadian university, the remainder of UMD's 2013-14 home schedule consists of all NCHC engagements --
St. Cloud State University (Dec. 6-7), Western Michigan University (Dec. 13-14), the University of Denver (Jan. 17-18), Colorado College (Feb. 7-8), the University of North Dakota (Feb. 21-22) and the University of Nebraska-Omaha (March 7-8). UMD will play Colorado College, Nebraska-Omaha, North Dakota and St. Cloud State four times each next winter and the other two remaining NCHC clubs (Miami University and Denver) twice each.
On Jan. 24 at a yet-to-be-named tournament in St. Paul, the Bulldogs are slated to take on Minnesota State University-Mankato while the University of Minnesota and St. Cloud State University will collide in the other first round game. The best-of three NCHC playoffs begin on March 14 with the NCHC Championships the ensuing weekend at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minn.
UMD season tickets will go on sale June 26.