By Jessi Pierce
In the words of this year’s Bud Light slogan: “Here we go.”The Big Ten hockey conference is finally almost upon us, becoming more official with the release of the Big Ten hockey schedule earlier this week.
B1G Hockey kicks off with familiar rivals, as former CCHA foes Ohio State and Michigan duke it out in Ann Arbor on Nov. 29 and WCHA and longtime hockey rivals Wisconsin and Minnesota face a border battle at Mariucci the same night.
One of the biggest things to note on the Big Ten schedule is it deviates from the typical Friday/Saturday series games. Right off the bat, the opening Michigan and Ohio State matchup is played on Friday with the second game not played until Monday (Dec. 2 at Ohio State for a home-and-home series).As many would have guessed this of course is to better accommodate the Big Ten Network T.V. schedule (clearly football gets precedence for Saturday primetime action). While I personally can never get enough college hockey, splitting a series to go Friday/Sunday or even Friday/Monday I am not particularly crazy about. Should be interesting to see what players and coaches think about it.
Having only six teams, there will be plenty of rotation between all of the programs and you can bet it won’t take too long for bad blood to form when facing eachother that often. Think about it.
It’s also nice to see that teams are still able to schedule games with some former opponents prior to jumping into Big Ten season. Minnesota has games with Bemidji, Boston College, Notre Dame, Mankato and Duluth before Big Ten play.
So what do you think of the scheduling? And are you ready for the season to hit?