Tuesday, February 28, 2012

DU's Future Schedules Include Pleasant Surprises

Next season will be the University of Denver's final season in the WCHA. The DU hockey staff has been been busy working on next year's schedule and the complexities of forming the National Collegiate Hockey Association in 2013 and beyond.

The Presidential Debate at Magness Arena [Oct. 3rd] may impact the hockey practice and exhibition schedule, but it remains to be seen if any regular season games have to be juggled.

Boston University will visit the Pioneers next season for in the U.S. Hall of Fame Game. DU hosted this event in 2008 against Notre Dame and the Hall of Fame Dinner the night before featured Bret Hull and several other USA hockey legends inductions. The dinner was hosted at on the floor of Magness Arena and it was an epic evening.

Cornell will visit DU for a two game series next season. This will be a rematch of the incredible 1969 National Championship Game played in the Broadmoor Arena in Colorado Springs featuring future NHL legends Ken Dryden, Keith Magnuson, Craig Patrick & George Morrison. DU won 4-3 on Tom Miller's goal with less than 10 minutes to play.

The University of New Hampshire will be the marquee program visiting Magness Arena for the Denver Cup.

In a surprising development, Minnesota and Wisconsin are negotiating with DU to visit Denver every other season, while the Pioneers will return the visits in alternating years. It is exciting to hear that these rivalries will continue despite the departures from the WCHA. Minnesota and Wisconsin alums in Colorado will be thrilled to hear of this development.

Starting in 2013-14 DU will play the Air Force twice per season.  This great rivalry has become very popular recently, so doubling the number of games against Air Force will be another positive scheduling move.

DU is in conversations with the Boston schools about continuing the cross-country rivalries.

With NCHC league play against Miami, North Dakota, Colorado College, Minnesota-Duluth and an emerging rivalry with road-trip potential against Nebraska-Omaha there are exciting times ahead for DU hockey fans.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow. Great stuff.

Looking forward to all of it.

dggoddard said...

The US Hockey Hall of Fame Dinner in 2008 was one of the coolest hockey events I ever attended. DU obviously did a great job hosting that event on the floor of Magness Arena, that they got host it again.

If you are a BU fan, you should definitely fly out that weekend. You won't regret it.

BooneDogg said...

Awesome!

Glad to hear DU maintaining rivalries with the Boston duo, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Also, I hope AF is home and home and CC does something similar (the games each school has had with AF recently have been great!).

dggoddard said...

If you think about it, in 2013 DU will lose home dates and rivalries with Mankato, Michigan Tech, UAA & Bemidji and add Miami & Western Michigan. Plus we'll see North Dakota far more often.

Huge upgrade in quality opponents on a week-in week-out basis.

Anonymous said...

I heard the Air Force cadets finish the National Anthem with "home of the FALCONS". hehehe

Twister said...

This great news.

Ring_of_Fire said...

I had heard that Wisconsin was eager to continue playing DU and others from the WCHA, but figured that Minnesota would wind up filling its non-Big Ten schedule with games against the other Minnesota schools; many of whom consider the Gophers to be their biggest rival.

After this season's series at Magness, I'm excited that there's at least a chance that the fun will continue!!!

dggoddard said...

I was pretty surprised by the Minnesota news as well. I've traveled to a several road series in each of the past eight seasons and DU is a pretty powerful road draw.

Minnesota knows what they are doing and whether the primary motivation is competitive (PWR, playoff prep), prestige (NC's, History, NHL Draftees) or location (Colorado, nice hotels, major airport) DU has a lot to offer.

Ring_of_Fire said...

Thinking about it from a "motivation" perspective, I think all of that is true, DG.

When it comes to "selling the program", the thought of telling recruits something like, "hey, all of your non-Big Ten road games will be bus trips to the exciting metropolises of Duluth and Bemidji" has got to have Lucia scared out of his mind.

At least coming to Denver gets the kids on a plane to somewhere other than State College or East Lansing...and it's not as far or as cumbersome travel-wise as getting to the east coast schools.

However, all of that said, I figured that internal pressure from the U of M system would force Minnesota to disproportionally schedule games against its in-state rivals, as opposed to teams like DU and CC.

And who knows, they still might.

But, I'm happy that there's a chance that the historic rivalries with both Bucky and...uh...Goophy will be maintained.

Adam said...

Minnesota already has games with all Minnesota schools scheduled for every season when they leave the WCHA. They also have non-conference games scheduled with the Boston schools and Notre Dame. They only need 2 more games per year to fill out their schedule for the first 2 years. If this news is true it's possible they're trying to get Denver.

DJA said...

Given the fact that both MN and UW are involved my suspicion is that this would result in one game each against CC and DU with the teams alternating who travels each year. It would be very similar to what UMN & UW did with UMI & MSU for many years with the showcase.

dggoddard said...

CC will not be included with the scheduling agreement. DU will be visiting Minneapolis & Madison in alternating years for two game series.

ScottA said...

Cornell was also the opponent in a memorable 1986 NCAA West Regional series at DU. Long, if intermittent, history with DU...