UNO's first outdoor hockey game, an appearance in the traditional season-opening Icebreaker tournament and its final trip through WCHA before leaving for the National Collegiate Hockey Conference highlight its 2012-13 hockey schedule released Wednesday.
“This schedule is great for both our fans and our players,” UNO coach Dean Blais said in a press release. “The WCHA schedule continues to be the toughest in college hockey, and we have another challenging schedule of nonconference games as well. Our fans, many of whom travel to see us play on the road, are going to get an outstanding game every night.”
One of those Western Collegiate Hockey Association games is the Feb. 9 game with North Dakota, which will be played outdoors at TD Ameritrade Park. It's part of the “Mutual of Omaha Battles on Ice,” a doubleheader that includes a game between the Omaha Lancers and the Lincoln Stars as the opener. UNO and North Dakota will play the first game of their WCHA series the previous night at the CenturyLink Center.
The Mavericks face Army at the regular-season opening Icebreaker at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo., on Oct. 12. They'll face either Maine or Notre Dame the following day.
UNO will open its final season of WCHA play on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 26 and 27, by hosting rivalry partner Bemidji State in the first two of four meetings during the season. The Mavericks are in a scheduling pod with Minnesota-Duluth and Michigan Tech and also will play those teams four times.
The 28-game league schedule is followed by the WCHA playoffs at campus sites from March 15 through 17.
Other home WCHA series are against Minnesota-Duluth (Nov. 10 and 11), Minnesota State-Mankato (Dec. 14 and 15), Colorado College (Jan. 4 and 5), Michigan Tech (Feb. 1 and 2) and Wisconsin (March 1 and 2).
Besides the Icebreaker, UNO has three nonconference series as part of its 36-game regular-season schedule: Northern Michigan at home on Oct. 19 and 20; Alabama-Huntsville at home on Nov. 23 and 24; and at Quinnipiac, Dec. 29 and 30.
Exhibition home games are scheduled for Oct. 8 against Lethbridge (Canada) and Feb. 22 against the U.S. National Team Development Program. The game with the U.S. team comes during what would have been a weekend off after returning from a long road trip at Alaska-Anchorage.
“The Icebreaker and the outdoor game are sure to make this one of the most memorable seasons of UNO hockey,” said Trev Alberts, UNO athletic director, in a press release. “UNO ranked fourth in the country in home attendance last season, and we know our fans are going to enjoy all of the home games on our schedule this season.”
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