There will be several firsts involving the 2009-10 Union men’s hockey schedule.
For example, Maine will be making its first visit to Messa Rink in 14 years. And the Dutchmen will be playing in the Rensselaer Holiday Tournament for the first time in 10 years.
Those are just some of the highlights of the Dutchmen’s 35-game schedule that was released Thursday.
The Dutchmen, who were 19-17-3 last season, open the season by hosting Maine for a two-game series Oct. 9-10. The Black Bears, who have won two NCAA tournament titles and have been runners-up three times, haven’t been to Messa Rink since Oct. 28, 1995, when they posted a 4-1 victory.
Union lost a two-game series at Maine in December.
“We’re excited to have a national championship team in our building,” Union coach Nate Leaman said. “We were a little disappointed in how we played up there last year. It will be a good way to kick our season off and see where we sit because they return almost [everybody] from last year. I think it will be a great challenge for us.”
The following weekend, the Dutchmen make their first visit to St. Cloud State for a two-game series. The teams have met just once; St. Cloud took a 4-2 win over Union in the first round of the 2006 Catamount Cup.
“They’re predicted to have a top-10 team in the country,” Leaman said. “They return almost [everyone], they have a terrific coach and we’re playing on an Olympic-size ice sheet, so I think it’s going to be a great challenge for us.”
Union returns to the Rensselaer Holiday Tournament Nov. 27-28, and will face Lake Superior State for the first time. The Dutchmen haven’t played in the tournament since 1999.
If Union and RPI meet in the second day of the tournament, that means the teams will face each other four times. In addition to the two ECAC Hockey contests, the Dutchmen will host the Engineers in a non-league game on Oct. 30.
“I don’t think that’s such a bad thing,” Leaman said. “Those games make both teams better.”
For the first time since the 2002-03 season, the Union-RPI league games won’t be played on consecutive nights. The game at RPI will be Wednesday, Dec. 9. It was originally scheduled for Jan. 15, but the school is on Christmas break. The game at Union is Jan. 16.
“Both [RPI coach] Seth [Appert] and I felt it was important that they had their students on campus for it because it is a big rivalry game,” Leaman said. “They wanted their students to be able to participate in the game.”
Union, which finished eighth in the ECACH and won its first-ever playoff series when it swept Clarkson in the first round, opens league play Nov. 6, when it hosts Brown. The next day, defending league-champion Yale comes to Messa.
The Dutchmen’s first league road games will be to the North Country when they face St. Lawrence Nov. 13 and Clarkson Nov. 14.
Also on the schedule is a return appearance by the U.S. National Under-18 team for an exhibition game Dec. 11. The Dutchmen dropped a 5-4 decision last October.
Union will also play in the UConn tournament Dec. 29-30. The Dutchmen face Massachusetts in the first round.
Home games in CAPS
e-Denotes ECAC Hockey game
3 — GARNET-WHITE GAME (scrimmage), time TBD; 9 — MAINE, 7; 10 — MAINE, 7; 16 — at St. Cloud State, 8; 17 — at St. Cloud State, 8; 23 — AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL, 7; 24 — SACRED HEART, 7; 30 — RPI, 7.
6 — e-BROWN, 7; 7 — e-YALE, 7; 13 — e-at St. Lawrence, 7; 14 — e-at Clarkson, 7; 27 — vs. Lake Superior in Rensselaer Holiday Tournament, 4; 28 — vs. RPI or team TBA in Rensselaer Holiday Tournament consolation or championship game, 4 or 7.
4 — e-COLGATE, 7; 5 — e-CORNELL, 7; 9 — e-at RPI, 7; 11 — U.S. UNDER-18 TEAM (exhibition), 7; 29 — vs. Massachusetts in UConn Tournament; 30 — vs. Bentley or Connecticut in UConn Tournament consolation or championship game, time TBD.
2 — at Army, 7; 8 — e-at Quinnipiac, 7; 9 — e-at Princeton, 7; 16 — e-RPI, 7; 22 — e-HARVARD, 7; 23 — e-DARTMOUTH, 7; 29 —e-at Yale, 7; 30 — e-at Brown, 7.
5 — e-CLARKSON, 7; 6 — e-ST. LAWRENCE, 7; 12 — e-at Dartmouth, 7; 13 — e-at Harvard, 7; 19 — e-PRINCETON, 7; 20 — e-QUINNIPIAC, 7; 26 — e-at Cornell, 7; 27 — e-at Colgate, 7.
GAZETTE COVERAGEEnsure access to everything we do, today and every day, check out our subscribe page at DailyGazette.com/Subscribe
More from The Daily Gazette:
Categories: College Sports