BEMIDJI – The first year of the new-look Western Collegiate Hockey Association will be good to the Bemidji State men’s hockey team.
Nonconference home dates against Minnesota and Miami, a home-and-home series with North Dakota, and the return of Alabama-Huntsville as a conference foe highlight BSU’s 2013-14 schedule, which was announced Thursday afternoon.
The Beavers will host Minnesota Oct. 18-19 at the Sanford Center. That will be the home opener for BSU after traveling to St. Cloud Oct. 11-12 to take on the Huskies in the first game of the season – also a nonconference series.
BSU’s 2013-14 slate was announced shortly after the WCHA announced its 140-game schedule for the new season. The schedule for the new 10-team league includes Alabama-Huntsville, which was accepted into the WCHA just two months ago.
Along with Bemidji State and Alabama-Huntsville, the new-look league includes WCHA mainstays Minnesota State Mankato, Michigan Tech and Alaska-Anchorage. New to the league from the soon-to-be-defunct Central Collegiate Hockey Association are Ferris State, Northern Michigan, Lake Superior State, Bowling Green State and Alaska-Fairbanks.
And for Bemidji State, the conference schedule will get interesting immediately. The Beavers get their first taste of the renewed Huntsville rivalry right off the bat – they travel to Alabama Oct. 25-26, the first weekend of league play.
The very next weekend, BSU comes home to host in-state rival MSU-Mankato. BSU travels to Mankato Feb. 7-8 and hosts Huntsville Feb. 28 and March 1.
In all, each league team is playing 28 league games, split equally between home and road.
But not every team is going to play an equal amount of home-and-homes. That means the Beavers avoid making two treks to Alaska (at least, not this year). BSU won’t see Bowling Green or Michigan Tech at home, but don’t have to travel to Anchorage. They do go to Fairbanks Jan. 24-25.
Aside from BSU’s early nonconference trip to St. Cloud and home series against the Gophers, the Beavers also host Miami in nonconference action Nov. 29-30. Miami won the CCHA regular-season title this year.
And the Beavers will reinstate their home-and-home series with North Dakota in the middle of January. UND will come to Bemidji Friday, Jan. 17 and the Beavers will travel to Grand Forks Saturday, Jan. 18.
2013-14 BSU men’s hockey schedule
Oct. 11-12 at St. Cloud State
Oct. 18-19 MINNESOTA
Oct. 25-26 at Alabama-Huntsville
Nov. 1-2 MINNESOTA STATE
Nov. 8-9 at Ferris State
Nov. 15-16 ALASKA-ANCHORAGE
Nov. 22-23 LAKE SUPERIOR STATE
Nov. 29-30 MIAMI
Dec. 6-7 at Michigan Tech
Dec. 13-14 ALASKA-FAIRBANKS
Jan. 3-4 NORTHERN MICHIGAN
Jan. 10-11 at Lake Superior State
Jan. 17 NORTH DAKOTA
Jan. 18 at North Dakota
Jan. 24-25 at Alaska-Fairbanks
Feb. 7-8 at Minnesota State
Feb. 14-15 FERRIS STATE
Feb. 28- March1 ALABAMA-HUNTSVILLE
March 7-8 at Bowling Green