A first full season of play at AMSOIL Arena and 12 games with 2011 NCAA playoff participants are among the highlights of the 2011-12 University of Minnesota Duluth men's hockey schedule, which was officially released on Monday.
Following an Oct. 2 exhibition home clash with Lakehead University, the defending NCAA champion Bulldogs will launch their 68th year of
intercollegiate competition on Oct. 7-8 in Duluth with a two-game series against the University of Notre Dame in a rematch of last month's Frozen Four semifinal (a 4-3 Bulldog victory).
UMD will make its Western Collegiate Hockey Association debut the following weekend by hosting the University of Minnesota before finally engaging in its first two road assignments of 2011-12 at Providence College on Oct. 21-22.
The Bulldogs, who moved into the $80-million, 6,764-seat AMSOIL Arena last December, will also entertain Bemidji State University (Oct. 28-29), the University of Alaska Anchorage (Nov. 11-12), Minnesota State University-Mankato (Nov. 18-19), the University of Alabama Huntsville (Jan. 20-21 in the first meetings ever between the two clubs), Michigan Tech University (Jan. 27-28) the University of North Dakota (Feb. 10-11) and Colorado College (Feb. 24-25) as part of their 18-game regular season home schedule.
Notre Dame, North Dakota, Colorado College, the University of Denver (Nov. 4-5 in Denver, Colo.), Western Michigan University (Jan. 6-7 in UMD's first trip to Kalamazoo, Mich.) and the University of Nebraska-Omaha (Jan. 13-14 in Omaha) all qualified for the NCAA Tournament this past spring.
The 2011-12 Bulldogs are slated to play Alaska Anchorage, Michigan Tech, and Minnesota State-Mankato four times next winter and the eight other WCHA schools twice each.
"In terms of a home and away balance, this is certainly a unique
schedule," said head coach Scott Sandelin, who will embark on his 12th season behind the UMD bench this fall. "We play 10 of our first 14 games in Duluth, but after Nov. 19, we won't be back home for almost two months (Jan. 20). I don't think I've ever seen anything quite like that."
UMD rolled up a 26-10-6 overall record in 2010-11 and placed fourth in the WCHA standings at 15-8-5. The Bulldogs closed out the year by
winning six of their last seven games, including a 3-2 overtime victory
over the University of Michigan in the NCAA Frozen Four title game on
Season ticket information for 2011-12 UMD hockey will be available later this month with single-game tickets going on sale in mid-to-late September.
To view the entire schedule, click here.
Courtesy: UMD Athletics