Colorado College will play on the National Collegiate Hockey Conference’s Opening Night for the second season in a row.
The Tigers begin conference play hosting national semifinalist North Dakota on Oct. 17-18. The Friday game comes after the 2014-15 league opener between Nebraska-Omaha at Western Michigan earlier that night.
Last season, the first two league games – which included Minnesota –Duluth at CC in Game 2 — were part of a national TV doubleheader on CBS Sports Network. The NCHC’s broadcast schedule will be announced later.
The NCHC released its league composite schedule on Thursday, also confirming that Colorado College and NCAA Tournament participant Denver will play their four-game home-and-home series the weekends of Nov. 14-15 and Feb. 20-21, 2015 to determine ownership of the Gold Pan Trophy. CC downed Denver in the series (2-1-1) last season to take back the rivalry hardware.
CC will host Miami of Ohio and Western Michigan in February. The Tigers will travel to Oxford, Ohio to take on the RedHawks for the first time there on Nov. 7-8. Previous meetings were at World Arena and at a neutral tournament site.
CC associate athletic director Scott Lowenberg said he hopes the new league rivalries will take root after World Arena fans see these new opponents more often.
“We will work hard to educate the fans about those program’s long hockey histories,” he has said.
The complete Tigers schedule, which will include 10 as of yet unconfirmed nonconference including area rival Air Force and one or two more exhibition game dates, will be released later this month. Other TV broadcasts will be announced later this offseason.
Like last year, all eight NCHC teams will play five league foes, including their protected rival (CC and Denver, for example), in both home and away series, while facing the other two teams for just one series (one home and one away) for a total of 24 league games.
In CC’s case, that means the Tigers only travel to Duluth Dec. 5-6 and host defending NCHC regular-season champion St. Cloud State on Jan. 30-31 this upcoming season, which begins Saturday, Oct. 4.
First-round series winners advance to the Target Center in Minneapolis for the second annual NCHC Frozen Faceoff with the semifinals Friday, March 20 and the third-place game and championship on Saturday, March 21. The Frozen Faceoff champion receives an automatic NCAA berth.
In this blog post, I also added some of the nonconference and exhibition games I have heard about through other media or during interviews. They remain unconfirmed.
CC 2014-15 schedule
Subject to change
Sept. 30 annual Faceoff Luncheon
Oct. 5, McGill University (exhibition)
Oct. 10-11, Alabama-Huntsville (Homecoming)
Oct. 17-18 North Dakota
Oct. 23-26, at Boston College, at New Hampshire (block break weekend)
Oct. 31-Nov. 1 OPEN
Nov. 7-8, at Miami
Nov. 14, at Denver
Nov. 15, Denver
Nov. 21, Wisconsin
Nov. 22, at Air Force
Nov. 28-29, OPEN
Dec. 5-6, at Minnesota-Duluth
Dec. 12-13, at Western Michigan
Jan. 3-4, at Providence
Jan. 6, at UConn
Jan. 16-17, Nebraska-Omaha
Jan. 23-24, at North Dakota
Jan. 30-31, St. Cloud State
Feb. 6-7, OPEN
Feb. 13-14, Miami
Feb. 20, Denver
Feb. 21, at Denver
Feb. 27-28, Western Michigan
March 6-7, at Nebraska-Omaha
March 13-15, NCHC quarterfinals
March 20-21, NCHC Frozen Faceoff (Target Center, Minneapolis)