Home series with two Frozen Four teams and traditional CCHA powers Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame and Ohio State highlight the 2009-2010 Western Michigan hockey schedule.
Western Michigan enters its 11th season under head coach Jim Culhane and will start off the exhibition season on Wednesday Oct. 7, with a situational scrimmage against the University of Windsor.
“The scrimmage will allow us to really dial in on special teams situations,” commented Culhane. “We will focus on the power play, penalty kill and defensive zone coverage.”
The scrimmage will be free to the public and will start at 6 p.m. Later that week on Friday, the Broncos will battle each other in the Brown & Gold game at 7:35 p.m., also free to the public.
WMU opens the regular season by hosting Mercyhurst College for a two game series on Oct. 16 and 17. The Broncos last hosted the Lakers during the 2003-04 season, splitting the games.
Western Michigan’s first road trip is the following week at Alabama-Huntsville.
The Broncos open CCHA play with Michigan State on Halloween weekend, traveling to East Lansing on Oct. 30 and hosting the Spartans the following night. WMU also hosts NCAA runners-up Miami on Nov. 20 and 21. Miami, along with Ohio State, is a cluster opponent for the Broncos and will meet the RedHawks at the Goggin Ice center at the end of January.
To open 2010, WMU hosts Frozen Four participant Bemidji State on Saturday, Jan. 2 and Sunday, Jan. 3. Saturday’s game will be at its normal 7:35 p.m. start, but Sunday’s time is still to be determined.
Western Michigan welcomes the Michigan Wolverines to Lawson Ice Arena on Jan. 8 and takes the return trip to Ann Arbor the following night. Last season, the Broncos shocked the Wolverines, defeating them 2-1 at Yost Arena during the regular season.
WMU hits the road for two straight weeks heading out to battle at Miami and at Bowling Green before hosting the regular season and CCHA Tournament champion Notre Dame.
In all, the Broncos have eight home games against teams that finished in the top five of the CCHA last season.
“Top to bottom their is tremendous challenge and competition in the CCHA every season,” said Culhane. “We have two Frozen Four teams coming to Lawson in Miami and Bemidji State and we are excited to get the season under way.”
The Broncos close out the final two weeks of the season by hosting Ohio State and then a home-and-home series with Ferris State.
WMU’s final home game is Saturday, Feb. 27 for Senior Night against the Bulldogs.
The date for WMU’s third annual Hockey Cares weekend has yet to be determined, but will be made public as soon as it is decided.