’11-’12 Schedule Released

Greeting everyone attending last night’s Reverse Raffle in the Campus Center were printed copies of next year’s schedule. Without further ado, here it is:

Fri 10/7 at Northeastern
Fri 10/14 Bentley
Sat 10/15 at Providence
Fri 10/21 at Boston College
Fri 10/28 Boston University
Sat 10/29 at Boston University
Fri 11/4 at New Hampshire
Sat 11/5 Boston College
Fri 11/11 UConn
Sat 11/12 Northeastern
Fri 11/18 Maine
Sat 11/19 at Lowell
Tue 11/22 at Vermont
Sat 11/26 at Quinnipiac
Fri 12/2 Harvard
Wed 12/7 Yale
Thu 12/29 Everblades Classic in Estero FL (Cornell/Maine/Clarkson)
Fri 12/30 Everblades Classic in Estero FL (Cornell/Maine/Clarkson)
Sat 1/7 at Providence
Fri 1/13 Boston College
Fri 1/20 Vermont
Sat 1/21 Vermont
Fri 1/27 at Lowell
Sat 1/28 Lowell
Fri 2/3 at Northeastern
Sat 2/4 Merrimack
Fri 2/10 at Boston University
Sat 2/11 Providence
Fri 2/17 at Maine
Sat 2/18 at Maine
Fri 2/24 New Hampshire
Sat 2/25 New Hampshire
Fri 3/2 Merrimack
Sat 3/3 at Merrimack

My guess is UMass’ first opponent in the Florida tournament will be Cornell, only because they’ll likely try to avoid first round matchups between conference foes as well as the two tournament hosts in Maine and Cornell. Its a very interesting non-conference schedule considering there are zero WCHA or CCHA teams on the list. Aside from the holiday tournament down south, UMass will not have to leave New England during the season whatsoever. In terms of strength of schedule hopefully Yale will continue it’s recent run of being one of the top teams in the country as UMass will need it to be so in order to boost its strength of schedule for RPI and Pairwise concerns. The Harvard game is indeed the return game from when UMass last played in Cambridge in 2003. If UMass has their eyes on an NCAA berth next year they’ll have to look to sweep this non-conference schedule. Losses to Atlantic Hockey teams will especially not cut it. In terms of the timing of the schedule, they’ll be tested early by opening with Northeastern and playing BC once and BU twice all before the month of October is over. They’ll once again have a challenging stretch to end the season with a couple games up in Maine followed by weekends with UNH and Merrimack. If UMass does play Cornell in the first round in Florida they could potentially play five straight ECAC opponents in Quinnipiac, Harvard, Yale, Cornell, and then Clarkson depending on how they do against Maine. It’s not the most exciting schedule we’ve seen, but it is one which UMass could have some success against. Plus, from a fan’s perspective there’s the chance to see the Minutemen regularly both home and away without doing too much travelling.

One other piece of scheduling news is that the team could potentially be heading up to New Brunswick in the next year or two to play the UNB Varsity Reds, UMass’ regular exhibition opponent in recent years. Boston College and Providence have both made the trip north to play the V-Reds in the last few seasons.

Other than the schedule not too much news came out of last night’s Reverse Raffle. The big winner of the night was none other than Pond Club President Mike Merchant who walked away with the big bucks. I was the lucky winner of a chance to sit with Matty G at the scorer’s bench. I’m thinking a game officiated by Jeff Bunyon against Boston University will likely give me the maximum entertainment factor.