University of Michigan head coach Red Berenson announced Thursday the team's schedule for the 2007-08 season. The Maize and Blue will play 36 regular-season contests, including 17 at Yost Ice Arena. Michigan will play a minimum of 12 games against NCAA Tournament qualifiers from a season ago.
The Maize and Blue's 86th season gets underway with a pair of exhibition games. The annual Blue/White intrasquad scrimmage is on Saturday, Oct. 6, followed by a match-up with Western Ontario on Sunday, Oct. 7. A third exhibition game will be played midseason on Jan. 8 against the U.S. National Team Development Program's Under-18 Team.
Michigan's regular season begins Oct. 12-13 at the Icebreaker Tournament, which is being hosted by Minnesota. The Wolverines open with Boston College, last season's national runner-up, on Oct. 12. U-M will play Minnesota or Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute on Oct. 13. The game times and venue have yet to be finalized.
The Wolverines' home opener is slated for Oct. 26 when nationally renowned Boston University enters Yost for the first time since 1989. The Wolverines and Terriers will also tangle on Oct. 27; the game time may be pushed back to accommodate U-M's football game earlier in the afternoon.
The 28-game CCHA schedule kicks off Oct. 19-20 at Northern Michigan, a member of U-M's cluster this season. The Wildcats visit Ann Arbor Feb. 1-2. Lake Superior State is also in Michigan's cluster. U-M heads to Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., for a pair of games Nov. 16-17, and LSSU makes the return trip Feb. 15-16.
Rounding out U-M's cluster as always are the Michigan State Spartans. Michigan could go until late January before its first game against the defending national champions. The in-state rivals have a home-and-home series Jan. 25-26, with the lone game at Yost to be played Jan. 25. In the penultimate weekend of the season, U-M meets MSU in a "road and Joe" series Feb. 22-23. Michigan will serve as the home team on Jan. 23 at Joe Louis Arena. The Wolverines and Spartans could also face off in December at the 43rd annual Great Lakes Invitational should both teams win their semifinal contests.
Michigan's opponent in the semifinals of the GLI on Dec. 28-29 will be Providence. The other match-up is Michigan State and Michigan Tech. U-M will play MSU or MTU in the championship or third-place game.
The 15th annual College Hockey Showcase will run Nov. 23-24 of Thanksgiving weekend. Michigan hosts Wisconsin on Nov. 23 and Minnesota on Nov. 24. The Maize and Blue ended a six-game CHS losing streak by knocking off the Badgers on the road last year.
A week after playing the Badgers and Gophers, the Wolverines will see yet another natural Big Ten combatant, Ohio State, on Nov. 30-Dec. 1. U-M and OSU have split their season series in each of the past three seasons.
Michigan will take on Notre Dame, last season's CCHA regular-season champion, in a home-and-home series Jan. 18-19. The Fighting Irish's home game on Jan. 19 could be moved to a venue other than the Joyce Center.
Michigan has three other home-and-home weekends in CCHA play: Bowling Green (Dec. 7-8), Western Michigan (Jan. 11-12) and Ferris State (Feb. 29-March 1).
Michigan also has road weekends at Nebraska-Omaha (Nov. 2-3) and Miami (Feb. 8-9). The Wolverines host Alaska for two games over Nov. 9-10.
For the third consecutive season all 12 CCHA teams will qualify for the CCHA Tournament, and seeds 1-4 will receive first-round byes for the weekend of March 7-9, 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 14-16. 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 21-22. 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 28-29, with the Northeast Regional at the DCU Arena in Worcester, Mass., and the West Regional at the World Arena in Colorado Springs, Colo. On March 29-30, the East Regional at the Pepsi Arena in Albany, N.Y., and the Midwest Regional at the Kohl Center in Madison, Wis., will take place.
Having made a record-setting 17 straight NCAA Tournament appearances, the Wolverines will be striving to get back to the Frozen Four. The 2008 Frozen Four will take place in Denver, Colo., with games being played at the Pepsi Center. The national semifinals will be on Thursday, April 10, and the NCAA championship game will be played on Saturday, April 12.
U-M's television schedule will be released later this summer. Some game times and dates could be changed for television purposes.