Photo courtesy DU Athletics
In case you missed it, the University of Denver hockey program officially announced its full regular season schedule for their 2017-18 campaign. The defending national champions will be hoping for a repeat performance next season to tie Michigan for the most all-time national titles with nine.
DU’s nonconference portion of their schedule has some unfamiliar names on it this year like Lake Superior State (10/20 & 10/21) and Merrimack (12/29), both of whom will be making trips to the Mile High City next year. While fans will get a treat with these less common foes, there still are the typical BU (10/27), BC (10/28), and Air Force (12/30) on the schedule.
While it hasn’t been officially announced yet, if you’re planning to be at Magness Arena when the Pioneers raise their eighth national championship banner, it would probably be a safe bet to be there for the Pioneers’ home opening series against Lake Superior State.
The highlight of the 2017-18 schedule might just be opening weekend though. The Pioneers travel to South Bend, Indiana to take on Notre Dame in a rematch of the Frozen Four semifinal in Chicago. It was a game that saw Denver outclass the Irish with a 6-1 victory to clinch a spot in the National Championship. Depending on which players each program loses to early departures over the next few months, that series in South Bend might be one everyone should pay attention to.
Of course, the Pioneers will make or break their season in NCHC play. Unlike last year, Denver will play North Dakota four times, twice in Denver (11/17 & 11/18) and twice in Grand Forks (1/26 & 1/27). One of the best non-regional rivalries between the last two national champions will be back in full force next year. The Pioneers will also play national runners-up Minnesota Duluth four times this year in 2017 national championship game rematches. The Pioneers will be in Duluth on 12/1 and 12/2 while the Bulldogs make the trip to Denver on 2/2 and 2/3.
Because of the way the NCHC schedule is built, each program won’t travel to one conference opponent each year. This year, Denver will not be traveling to Omaha while Western Michigan won’t be making the trip to Denver.
Denver’s full 2017-18 schedule is below (home games in bold):
Sunday, 10/1 vs Lethbridge (exhibition)
Friday, 10/13 at Notre Dame
Saturday, 10/14 at Notre Dame
Friday, 10/20 vs Lake Superior State
Saturday, 10/21 vs Lake Superior State
Friday, 10/27 at Boston University
Saturday, 10/28 at Boston College
Friday, 11/3 at Western Michigan
Saturday, 11/4 at Western Michigan
Friday, 11/10 vs St. Cloud State
Saturday, 11/11 vs St. Cloud State
Friday, 11/17 vs North Dakota
Satruday, 11/18 vs North Dakota
Friday, 12/1 at Minnesota Duluth
Saturday, 12/2 at Minnesota Duluth
Friday, 12/8 vs Colorado College
Saturday, 12/9 at Colorado College
Friday, 12/15 vs Dartmouth
Saturday, 12/16 vs Dartmouth
Friday, 12/29 vs Merrimack
Saturday, 12/30 vs Air Force
Friday, 1/5 at Miami (Ohio)
Saturday, 1/6 at Miami (Ohio)
Friday, 1/19 vs Omaha
Saturday, 1/20 vs Omaha
Friday, 1/26 at North Dakota
Saturday, 1/27 at North Dakota
Friday, 2/2 vs Minnesota Duluth
Saturday, 2/3 vs Minnesota Duluth
Friday, 2/16 at Colorado College
Saturday, 2/17 vs Colorado College
Friday, 2/23 at St. Cloud State
Saturday, 2/24 at St. Cloud State
Friday, 3/2 vs Miami (Ohio)
Saturday, 3/3 vs Miami (Ohio)
The first round of the NCHC Tournament will be held on campus sites of the top four conference finishers March 9-11 while the Frozen Faceoff will be March 16 & 17 at the Target Center in Minneapolis.
Should Denver earn its third straight Frozen Four berth, the Pioneers will work to defend their title April 5-7 in St. Paul, Minnesota.
We’re just less than six months away!