Friday, April 23, 2010

The Men’s Schedule is “starting” to come together

Wisconsin is usually the LAST WCHA school to put out a schedule; I’m guessing we won’t see the “official” schedule until mid May at the earliest. That doesn’t mean that parts of the schedule can’t be pulled together as other schools release their schedule.

Over at USCHO, there is a thread talking about the 2010/11 WCHA schedule. About half the schools have their schedules out, so a large part of the UW schedule can be put together. In that thread, USCHO user “Yager” has been doing the heavy lifting of putting together the schedule for all 12 WCHA teams for next season. In case you forgot, Bemidji and Nebraska-Omaha join the ranks next season.

Before getting to the schedule so far, let’s quick discuss how the schedule is going to work moving forward w/ 12 teams. Each team is paired w/ another; it has always been this way. The pairings don’t change (UW/minnesota, Duluth/Tech, Denver/CC, St Cloud/NoDak, UAA/Mankato), but now Bemidji and Omaha will be pair. Each year, each pair will be paired w/ another pair (yes I wrote that on purpose) and then the pairs will rotate through on a five year cycle. This year Wisconsin and minnesota are paired w/ Duluth and Tech, and therefore besides playing the gophers in two series (this will continue to happen EVERY season) they will play two series against both Duluth and Tech. The Badgers will play every other team once, either home or away, and you can check this link out to see all the teams schedule breakdown. According to the Sioux blog, in 2011/12 UW/um will be paired w/ St Cloud and North Dakota, having home and away series against each of those teams. It also appears that the WCHA has split up CC and Denver so that each school plays one home and one away against each school (unless paired w/ them), so there will always be a road trip to Colorado each season for Badger fans who are interested.

The first rough draft of the schedule:

10/08-09 – The IceBreaker in St. Louis (Notre Lame, BU and Holy Cross as opponents)
10/15-16 – Open
10/22-23 - @ Denver
10/29-30 – Open
11/05-06 - @ minnesota
11/12-13 – North Dakota
11/19-20 – Duluth
11/26-27 – College Hockey Showcase (appears to still be going on!!!)
12/03-04 – Open
12/10-11 – Bemidji
12/17-18 – Open (doubt a series will happen here because of Finals)
12-29 – 01/02 – Open (no more Showdown)
01/07-08 – Open
01/14-15 - @ Duluth (first full series at the new DECC)
01/21-22 - Open
01/28-29 – Open
02/04-05 – Open
2/11-12 - @ Nebraska-Omaha
2/18-19 – minnesota
2/25-26 – @ St Cloud
3/04-05 – CC
3/11-13 - WCHA Playoffs
3/17-19 - WCHA Final Five
3/25-27 - NCAA Regionals
4/07 & 09 - Frozen Four @ the X

There are still quite a few gaps in there, WCHA series left to add to the schedule:

@ Tech
vs Tech
vs Mankato

All the tough games must have been scheduled first, eh?

There are at least TWO non-conference series to add as well. I think the Badgers get TWO exemptions this coming season, one for traveling to Alaska and one for the IceBreaker. Therefore they get 38 games? Anyone out there know if I’m right or wrong on that? Here are the non-con series I think the Badgers will have based on past info I read.

@ BC/@UNH (one game each)
vs UMASS-Lowell
vs Alabama Huntsville

I remember reading at the time of the news of the demise of the Showdown that Lowell and UAH will be coming to the Kohl Center next season, and the Badgers still “owe” a trip to the east coast against BC and UNH, but I’m not sure if that is next season or in 11/12. Also very excited to see that the Showcase might be on for at least one more season, especially since it will be at the Kohl Center.

Hatchet Joe, get the truck warmed up, time to head to St Louis and get ready for the IceBreaker!

Anyway, enjoy, we’ll keep updating this as more information is filled in and obviously post the official schedule once it is released by UW.