Michigan's 84th season of hockey
will feature 19 games at historic Yost Arena
Head coach Red Berenson of the University of Michigan ice hockey team announced today the team's schedule for the 2005-06 season. The Wolverines will play 36 regular-season contests, including 19 at the friendly confines of Yost Ice Arena. U-M will face five opponents that finished the 2004-05 season ranked in the top 15 nationally by the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll.
The Maize and Blue's 84th season begins with the annual Blue/White intrasquad scrimmage on Saturday, Oct. 1. U-M faces the University of Toronto in an exhibition tune-up the following day (Sunday, Oct. 2).
Michigan begins the season with a five-game homestand. Quinnipiac visits Ann Arbor for a two-game series to formally start the season Oct. 7-8. The non-conference schedule continues with a heavyweight bout against the nationally renowned Boston College Eagles on Friday, Oct. 14. The early non-conference schedule concludes on Sunday, Oct. 16, against Merrimack.
U-M's lone home match-up with rival Michigan State kicks off the 28-game CCHA schedule on Saturday, Oct. 22. Michigan plays Michigan State a total of four times in the conference as a result of the schools being in the same cluster. Nebraska-Omaha and Alaska Fairbanks are also included in U-M's cluster. Michigan visits UAF for a two-game set the second week of the CCHA season, Oct. 28-29. U-M then returns for a home-and-home weekend (Nov. 4-5) against Notre Dame that begins in South Bend, Ind. The Wolverines travel to Marquette, Mich., for a Nov. 11-12 series with Northern Michigan before they get a weekend off Nov. 18-19.
The 13th annual College Hockey Showcase awaits the Maize and Blue when it returns to action Nov. 25-26. Although U-M holds the best record in the CHS over Michigan State, Minnesota and Wisconsin at 14-9-1, the Wolverines will be looking to snap their four-game losing streak over the past two seasons. Minnesota is up first on Friday, Nov. 25, and Wisconsin comes to town Saturday, Nov. 26. The Badgers beat U-M in Madison, Wis., in the fall of 2004; however, Michigan answered by ending UW's season in the 2005 NCAA Tournament.
Michigan wraps up the first half of its season slate with a road series against Miami (Dec. 2-3) and a home series vs. Nebraska-Omaha (Dec. 9-10).
The 41st annual Great Lakes Invitational in Detroit, Mich., runs Dec. 29-30. Michigan plays in the nightcap on Thursday (Dec. 29) against GLI invitee Colorado College, which overcame a 3-0 deficit in the 2005 NCAA Midwest Regional final to eliminate the Wolverines from the national tournament. Depending upon the outcome against CC, Michigan will see either Michigan State or Michigan Tech on Friday (Dec. 30) in the championship or third-place game.
Michigan wraps up its season series with Alaska Fairbanks in a home series Jan. 6-7. The U.S. National Team Development Program Under-18 team makes its sixth annual visit to Yost Ice Arena on Friday, Jan. 13. The Wolverines play their first of three Tuesday evening contests on Jan. 17 when they head to East Lansing, Mich., to take on the Spartans. The week continues with a home-and-home series that starts at Bowling Green Jan. 20-21. U-M goes back to Michigan State on Friday, Jan. 27, and then the in-state rivals put the final touches on the season series at Joe Louis Arena on Saturday, Jan. 28.
The final month of the regular season starts with a Tuesday, Jan. 31, tilt vs. Western Michigan. U-M makes the return trip to Kalamzoo, Mich., on Tuesday, Feb. 7. In between, the Maize and Blue hosts Ohio State Feb. 3-4. Lake Superior State comes to Ann Arbor for two games Feb. 10-11. Michigan finishes the series against UNO in Omaha, Neb., in a non-traditional Saturday-Sunday format Feb. 18-19.
The final series of the season is a home-and-home pair with Ferris State Feb. 24-25. FSU hosts game one while U-M will have the regular-season finale to honor its five-member senior class on Senior Night.
All 12 CCHA teams will qualify for the CCHA Tournament, but seeds 1-4 will receive first-round byes for the weekend of March 3-5, during which the squads that finished fifth through 12th will play best-of-three series at campus sites. The four teams remaining after the first round will travel to the campuses of top four seeds for a second round of best-of-three series March 10-12. It has yet to be determined whether teams will be reseeded following the first round. The four teams that emerge from the second round will move on to Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Mich., for the CCHA semifinals and finals Friday and Saturday, March 17-18. The victor of the CCHA Tournament receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
The road to Frozen Four will travel through four NCAA Regional sites. Two regionals will be held on March 24-25, with the University of North Dakota hosting the West Regional at the Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks, N.D., and the Northeast Regional, hosted by Boston University, being played at Worcester's Centrum Centre in Worcester, Mass. On March 25-26, Renssalaer Polytechnic Institute and the ECAC will co-host the East Regional at Pepsi Arena in Albany, N.Y., while Michigan Tech University hosts the Midwest Regional at the Resch Center in Green Bay, Wis.
Having made a record-setting 15 straight NCAA Tournament appearances, the Wolverines will be driving to get back to the Frozen Four after missing out in each of the last two campaigns. The 2006 Frozen Four will take place in Milwaukee, Wis., with games being played at the Bradley Center. The national semifinals will be on Thursday, April 6, and the NCAA championship game will be played on Saturday, April 8.
See the press release HERE and schedule HERE.