Why do I like it so much? Well, for starters, it looks like we've really made the effort to get our money's worth out of the situation by playing a wide variety of teams. The first thing that jumped out at me is the fact that the Icers are not playing a full ESCHL schedule, nor will PSU compete in the conference tournament, which of course frees up dates. There are still four games with Rhode Island, but West Chester and Delaware have been reduced to single home-and-home weekends, while Robert Morris is gone altogether.
The second thing: 9:00 Friday games are now done. Over. We're going at 7:00 now, get used to it, that's what the big boys do. Hey, I think that's what I answered on the survey they took on that topic last year, so go me.
Some other highlights:
- Ohio still has their customary four games, as they should. Wouldn't have that any other way.
- Just after the new year, PSU travels to Oklahoma for four games on consecutive nights with Oklahoma and Central Oklahoma. What's a little crazy about it: it's not two against one team, then two against the other - the two opponents are staggered. Okay, they're only 32 miles apart, so it's not that crazy, I suppose. Oklahoma comes to Hockey Valley in February as well.
- On the first weekend in November, the Icers take on NCAA Division III teams SUNY-Fredonia and Neumann. The Neumann Knights won the DIII national championship in 2009 and appeared in the NCAA tournament this season, while Fredonia won the 2007 SUNYAC tournament championship and appeared in that year's NCAA tournament. These programs are a click or two up from some of the DIIIs we've seen in the past and will present a nice challenge.
- Pitt, Rutgers, Liberty and Niagara all return to the slate from last year, with Niagara taking their customary slot on the last Friday of the fall semester.
- Illinois, Mercyhurst and West Virginia are teams with whom the Icers have some history, and it's nice to see them back on the schedule.
- There's a home-and-home with Lebanon Valley College. The Dutchmen just completed their first season in the ACHA after dropping from NCAA Division III. Oh, and their play their home games in a pretty historic barn.
- Finally, nationals are about 10 minutes from my house. Sweet.
Here's the full schedule, or you can just click here for a prettier version of it.
7 vs. Washington & Jefferson, 7:00 p.m.
14 @ Illinois, TBD
15 @ Illinois, TBD
21 vs. Ohio, 7:00 p.m.
22 vs. Ohio, 3:30 p.m.
28 @ Rhode Island, 7:00 p.m.
29 @ Rhode Island, 7:00 p.m.
4 @ Neumann (NCAA DIII), TBD
5 vs. SUNY-Fredonia (NCAA DIII), 7:00 p.m.
6 vs. Pittsburgh, 12:00 p.m.
10 @ West Chester, TBD
11 vs. West Chester, 7:00 p.m.
18 @ Delaware, TBD
19 vs. Delaware, 3:30 p.m.
2 vs. Rutgers, 7:00 p.m.
3 vs. Rutgers, 3:30 p.m.
9 @ Liberty, TBD
10 @ Liberty, TBD
16 vs. Niagara, 7:00 p.m.
4 @ Central Oklahoma, TBD
5 @ Oklahoma, TBD
6 @ Central Oklahoma, TBD
7 @ Oklahoma, TBD
13 vs. Rhode Island, 7:00 p.m.
14 vs. Rhode Island, 3:30 p.m.
20 vs. West Virginia, 7:00 p.m.
21 vs. West Virginia, 3:30 p.m.
27 @ Ohio, 7:00 p.m.
28 @ Ohio, 7:00 p.m.
3 vs. Oklahoma, 7:00 p.m.
4 vs. Oklahoma, 3:30 p.m.
10 vs. Mercyhurst, 7:00 p.m.
11 vs. Mercyhurst, 3:30 p.m.
17 @ Lebanon Valley, TBD
18 vs. Lebanon Valley, 3:30 p.m.
3-7 @ ACHA National Tournament - Strongsville, OH