MEN'S HOCKEY: Home-and-home with UND, North Star College Cup highlight BSU's 2014-15 schedule
BEMIDJI — When the BSU men’s hockey team opens the new season Oct. 10 at North Dakota, the Beavers will find their 2014-15 schedule looks nearly identical to the 2013-14 edition.
Bemidji State announced its 36-game schedule Wednesday, and it features the usual 28-game Western Collegiate Hockey Association schedule along with three nonconference series against NCAA Tournament teams as well as an invitation to the North Star College Cup for the first time.
This time around the Beavers open the season with another home-and-home series against U.S. Highway 2 rivals North Dakota. BSU will travel to Grand Forks Oct. 10 to open up Ralph Engelstad Arena while UND will make the return trip for the Saturday game, playing the first game at Sanford Center Oct. 11.
After a week off, the Beavers travel south to take on another rival, this time the national runners-up Minnesota Gophers Oct. 24-25.
BSU begins their WCHA slate Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 against Alaska Fairbanks then hits the road again to face Minnesota State Mankato.
That means the Beavers play six of their first eight games against 2014 NCAA Tournament teams, including two that made the Frozen Four.
The Beavers face a third NCAA tournament team Nov. 28-29 when they host St. Cloud State at the Sanford Center.
In addition to BSU’s three nonconference series the Beavers will also participate in this season’s North Star College Cup, the tournament featuring the five Minnesota-based division I Hockey teams.
In last season’s inaugural tournament — which Minnesota won — the Beavers sat out, so this season BSU will participate in its first-ever North Star Cup, which is scheduled for Jan. 23 against Minnesota-Duluth at Xcel Energy Center. Depending on the result BSU will take on either Minnesota or Minnesota-Duluth on Saturday; St. Cloud State is out of the rotation this season.
In all BSU plays 17 home games and 19 times away from Bemidji; the Beavers have no homestand longer than four games but also have no road trip longer than four games.
In WCHA action, BSU makes just one trip to Alaska — Dec. 5-6 at Alaska-Anchorage — and will host both Bowling Green and Michigan Tech after only playing those teams on the road last season.
BSU will also face rivals Alabama-Huntsville for just one series — Jan. 9-10 in Bemidji — and will only take on defending McNaughton Cup champions Ferris State once — Feb. 27-28 in Big Rapids, Mich.
BSU closes out the season March 6-7 with a WCHA game at the Sanford Center against instate rivals Minnesota State.
The WCHA playoffs begin the weekend after that (March 13-15) and the Final Five is set to return to St. Paul March 20-21 after being held last season in Grand Rapids, Mich.
Bemidji State 2014-15 Men’s Hockey Schedule
Oct. 10: at North Dakota
Oct. 11: NORTH DAKOTA (Home opener)
Oct. 24-25: at Minnesota
Oct. 31-Nov. 1: ALASKA FAIRBANKS*
Nov. 7-8: at Minnesota State*
Nov. 14-15: MICHIGAN TECH*
Nov. 21-22: at Bowling Green*
Nov. 28-29: ST. CLOUD STATE
Dec. 5-6: at Alaska Anchorage*
Dec. 12-13: NORTHERN MICHIGAN*
Jan. 9-10: ALABAMA-HUNTSVILLE*
Jan. 17-18: at Lake Superior State*
Jan. 23: vs. Minnesota Duluth (North Star College Cup, St. Paul)
Jan. 24: vs. Mankato/Minnesota (North Star College Cup, St. Paul)
Jan. 30-31: BOWLING GREEN*
Feb. 6-7: at Michigan Tech*
Feb. 13-14: at Northern Michigan*
Feb. 20-21: ALASKA-ANCHORAGE*
Feb. 27-28: at Ferris State*
March 6-7: MINNESOTA STATE*
March 13-15: WCHA first round
March 20-21: WCHA Final Five (St. Paul)
*denotes WCHA conference game