You can start to see the light at the end of the tunnel. September is almost here, and that means the 2014-15 college hockey season is almost upon us. College students are making the trek back to campus. Fall camps and conditioning will begin very soon.
There are roughly 38 days until the college hockey season kicks off. Perusing the college hockey schedules, I picked five intriguing college hockey match-ups that I felt would attract a great deal of national attention. Obviously, there are other match-ups that will draw a great deal of national attention. Feel free to send me your recommendations.
Editorial note, these are match-ups that I found to be interesting, they aren’t ranked in any particular order.
1.) Colorado College vs. University of Denver
Dates: November 14, 2014. February 6, 21 & 22, 2015.
Location: World Arena, Colorado Springs, Colorado (games one and four).
Location: Magness Arena, Denver, Colorado (games two and three).
One of the NCHC’s most storied rivalries. The Tigers and the Pioneers play for the Gold Pan. Last season, the Tigers held the series edge 2-1-1 in four games against Denver.
All-time, Denver leads the series (161-116-17, .576) against the Tigers.
2.) Michigan vs. Michigan Tech
Date October, 31, November 1, 2014.
Location: MacInnes Student Ice Arena, Houghton, Michigan
In-state rivals Michigan and Michigan State have played in over 200 games against each other. With the aid of the Michigan Tech pep band, you can bet that the MacInnes Student Ice Arena will be jumping when the Wolverines come to Houghton.
Last season, the Wolverines swept the Huskies (3-2 O.T. W, 2-1 W) in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
All-time, Michigan has a (124-91-4, .575) record against Michigan Tech.
3.) Michigan vs. Michigan State
Dates: January 30, February 7, and March 13-14, 2015.
Location game one: TBA.
Location game two: Solider Field, Chicago, Illinois.
Location game three: Munn Ice Arena, East Lansing, Michigan
Location game four: Yost Ice Arena, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
The Michigan State Spartans and Michigan Wolverines are bitter rivals and when these two teams faceoff on the ice, their game are very intense. Last season, the Wolverines had the upper hand on the Spartans taking the season series (3-1-0).
The Wolverines and the Spartans will play four games during the 2014-15 season. One of their four games will be in the Hockey City Classic on Feb. 7, 2015, at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois.
The Hockey City Classic is a two-game outdoor college hockey classic, also participating in the game will be NCHC teams Western Michigan and Miami (Ohio).
All-time, Michigan has a (151-128-19, .538) record against Michigan State. With this season four games, the two teams will eclipse the 300 game mark.
4.) University of Wisconsin vs. University of Minnesota
Dates: January 16-17 and January 23-24, 2015.
Location series one: Mariucci Arena, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Location series two: Kohl Center, Madison, Wisconsin.
Mark this series down on your calendar. The Wisconsin Badgers and Minnesota Golden Gophers have played 169 times, and is one of the best rivalries in college hockey. This series is referred to as the Border Battle and battle they do.
Both teams are backed by rabid fan bases that pack their arena and enthusiastically cheer their teams on. The two teams will play four times in a three week period during the month of January.
All time, the Gophers hold an impressive (159-89-21, .630) edge over the Badgers.
The series formally known as Sioux versus Badgers, is on again. With college hockey re-alignment, this series took a hit. Re-alignment aside, the two teams have decided to continue their rivalry in non-conference play.
During the 1982 season, the two teams played in the famous water bottle game. There were brawls in the beer garden and on the player’s benches. Reminiscent of a scene from the movie “Slap Shot”.
“They’re fighting out in the aisles and everyplace else,” the Badger announcer exclaimed. “They’re fighting with the police! They’re fighting with the fans! North Dakota has done it again.”
All-time, Wisconsin has a (86-66-12, 560) record against the Badgers. While the Badgers have the edge in series, during the last ten games, UND has had the upper hand and a 5-3-2 (.600) record.
Eric is a 1996, 1999 graduate of the University of North Dakota. Eric covers the University of North Dakota Hockey and Division I college hockey. Eric is the Contributing Editor for Inside Hockey.