A much-anticipated midseason move into a new facility and the University of Minnesota Duluth's final eight games in the 44-year old Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center are among the highlights of the 2010-11 Bulldog men's hockey schedule, which was officially released today.
The Bulldogs will launch their 67th year of intercollegiate competition -- and 50th season as a member of the NCAA Division I ranks -- on Oct. 8 with a road engagement against Lake Superior State University before taking on host Northern Michigan University, which qualified for the NCAA tournament this past March, the next evening in another Superior Cup matchup. One week later (Oct. 15-16), Hockey East combatant Providence College is slated to visit the DECC for UMD's 2010-11 home debuts and the University of Alaska Anchorage will be in town the following weekend, marking the start of the Bulldogs' 28-game Western Collegiate Hockey Association slate.
UMD will host two more series at the DECC -- Nov. 12-13 vs. Michigan Tech University and Dec. 3-4 against defending WCHA regular season champion Denver -- until it christens its new $70-million, 6,800-seat arena on Dec. 30 by facing the University of North Dakota in the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Game. The remainder of the Bulldogs' home schedule includes clashes with 2010 NCAA Frozen Four runnerup the University of Wisconsin (Jan. 14-15), the University of Minnesota (Feb. 4-5), St. Cloud State University (Feb. 11-12), the University of Nebraska-Omaha (regular season finales on March 4-5), which, along with Bemidji State University will join the WCHA fold this season, and the U.S. Under-18 Team (exhibition game on Jan. 8).
The 2010-11 Bulldogs are slated to play Michigan Tech, Minnesota and Wisconsin four times next winter and the eight other WCHA schools twice each.
"I can't think of a better way to open our new building then to do so against our biggest rivals in North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and St. Cloud State," said head coach Scott Sandelin, who will embark on his 11th season behind the UMD bench this fall. "But, at the same time, that means we'll have very challenging second half to deal with."
UMD closed out 2009-10 with a 22-17-1 overall record -- their second straight 22-win season -- and tied for fourth place in the WCHA at 16-11-1 (their best conference mark in five years). The Bulldogs, who held down the No. 14 spot in the final uscho.com poll, also advanced to the WCHA Final Five tournament for the fifth time in eight seasons.
10/8/2010 Lake Superior State Sault Ste. Marie, MI 6:05 pm
10/9/2010 Northern Michigan Marquette, MI 6:30 pm
10/15/2010 Providence College Duluth, MN 7:07 pm
10/16/2010 Providence College Duluth, MN 7:07 pm
10/22/2010 Alaska-Anchorage Duluth, MN 7:07 pm
10/23/2010 Alaska-Anchorage Duluth, MN 7:07 pm
10/29/2010 Bemidji State Bemidji, MN 7:07 pm
10/30/2010 Bemidji State Bemidji, MN 7:07 pm
11/5/2010 North Dakota Grand Forks, ND 7:37 pm
11/6/2010 North Dakota Grand Forks, ND 7:07 pm
11/12/2010 Michigan Tech Duluth, MN 7:07 pm
11/13/2010 Michigan Tech Duluth, MN 7:07 pm
11/19/2010 Wisconsin Madison, WI 7:07 pm
11/20/2010 Wisconsin Madison, WI 7:07 pm
11/26/2010 Clarkson Potsdam, NY 6:00 pm
11/27/2010 Clarkson Potsdam, NY 6:00 pm
12/3/2010 Denver Duluth, MN 7:07 pm
12/4/2010 Denver Duluth, MN 7:07 pm
12/10/2010 Minnesota Minneapolis, MN 7:07 pm
12/11/2010 Minnesota Minneapolis, MN 7:07 pm
12/30/2010 North Dakota Duluth, MN 7:37 pm
1/8/2011 U.S. Under-18 Team Duluth, MN 7:07 pm
1/14/2011 Wisconsin Duluth, MN 7:07 pm
1/15/2011 Wisconsin Duluth, MN 7:07 pm
1/21/2011 Michigan Tech Houghton, MI 6:07 pm
1/22/2011 Michigan Tech Houghton, MI 6:07 pm
2/4/2011 Minnesota Duluth, MN 7:07 pm
2/5/2011 Minnesota Duluth, MN 7:07 pm
2/11/2011 St. Cloud State Duluth, MN 7:07 pm
2/12/2011 St. Cloud State Duluth, MN 7:07 pm
2/18/2011 Minnesota State-Mankato Mankato, MN 7:37 pm
2/19/2011 Minnesota State-Mankato Mankato, MN 7:07 pm
2/25/2011 Colorado College Colorado Springs, CO 8:37 pm
2/26/2011 Colorado College Colorado Springs, CO 8:07 pm
3/4/2011 Nebraska-Omaha Duluth, MN 7:07 pm
3/5/2011 Nebraska-Omaha Duluth, MN 7:07 pm
It's possible that game times will change. Outside of that, there it is.
The WCHA playoffs start March 11, and the Final Five is March 17-19 at XCel Energy Center, which will also host the 2011 NCAA Frozen Four.