The team departs on Wednesday, and we'll be heading out there on Thursday, taking the day-long (pretty much) drive of over 400 miles and around eight hours in duration.
It should be a beautiful day for travel, and it'll be a nice drive, as we go along the Lake Superior shoreline (for at least part of the trip) and encounter what should be some awesome fall colors.
With the season opening, this blog largely becomes a hockey site, though we'll occasionally post on other things. During the season, you can look for UMD updates on this blog on a regular basis.
The No. 8 (USCHO)/No. 9 (USA Today) Bulldogs play at 6 p.m. Central Friday, and 6:30 p.m. on Saturday. You can stream the games live at umdbulldogs.com, and you can hear them in the Northland on the following stations:
- In Duluth/Superior, games will air on 94.1 FM.
- Around but outside of the Twin Ports -- cities like Cloquet and Two Harbors, for example -- you can listen on 104.3 FM.
- If you live on the western Iron Range -- cities such as Grand Rapids, Hibbing, Virginia, and Chisholm -- you can hear the games on KQ 105.5 FM.
- Finally, if you are in northern Minnesota, you can listen on KQ 106.7, which covers cities such as Babbitt, Ely, and Hoyt Lakes.
Lake Superior State has a lot of guys back from last year, including leading scorer Rick Schofield and senior goalie Brian Mahoney-Wilson.
Saturday's opponent, Northern Michigan, lost senior goalie Brian Stewart and top skaters Mark Olver -- a Hobey finalist -- and Erik Gustafsson. The Wildcats aren't rebuilding -- and former CEC Lumberjack Reid Ellingson is expected to start in goal -- but they are in a bit of a transition mode.
Look out for senior Justin Florek and junior Andrew Cherniwchan as the leaders of the offense.
We'll have more on the Lakers and Wildcats in our weekend preview, which will be posted either Thursday or Friday of every hockey weekend.
Also on the blog will be updates on team news, injuries (when possible), and we'll continue the regular practice of posting the lines before each game.
Finally, I recommend that you follow my Twitter account for regular UMD updates, as well as the latest from around college hockey.