Drop the puck! Wisconsin men's hockey releases 2010-11 schedule

<b>Scott Gudmandson and the Badgers open the 2010-11 season at the Ice Breaker in St. Louis</b>

Scott Gudmandson and the Badgers open the 2010-11 season at the Ice Breaker in St. Louis

May 20, 2010

2010-11 Wisconsin Men's Hockey Schedule Get Acrobat Reader

MADISON, Wis.-- The University of Wisconsin men's hockey team released its 2010-11 regular season schedule on Thursday. The schedule features 22 home games and 11 contests against teams that competed in the 2010 NCAA Tournament.

"We have a balanced schedule for the 2010-11 season," said head coach Mike Eaves. "We are thrilled to be part of the Ice Breaker to start the year. Then we have five home series before finals and five home series after finals. And for one of those rare years, we are at home for the last series of the season."

Significant developments for the 2010-11 Badger hockey season include the addition of the Bemidji State Beavers and Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks to the WCHA, thereby expanding the league to 12 teams. Those additions bring with them a change in the way the conference season is scheduled, as well as a format change for the WCHA postseason.

"I think it is going to be an interesting season for our fans with the two new teams in our league," stated Eaves. "We'll have a chance to see Bemidji State in our building and we travel to Nebraska-Omaha, but will introduce the Mavericks to the Wisconsin hockey community in future seasons."

While practice does not get underway until Oct. 2, the Badgers will open the season in tournament-style play in St. Louis. At the Scottrade Center, Wisconsin faces Boston University in the Ice Breaker Tournament on Friday, Oct. 8. Notre Dame and Holy Cross meet in the other semifinal contest. Winners and losers of the two contests meet on Sunday, Oct. 10.

The following weekend, the Badgers skate in their first home games of the year. Wisconsin hosts Alabama Huntsville in a Friday-Sunday series on Oct. 15 and 17 at the Kohl Center. Badger football plays host to Ohio State on the evening of Oct. 16.

The Badgers then open WCHA play on Oct. 22 and 23, as the team travels west to battle last year's regular-season champion, the Denver Pioneers.

The next weekend marks the first conference games of the season in the Kohl Center as Wisconsin plays host to the Michigan Tech Huskies on Oct. 29-30.

Up next, Wisconsin travels for a border-battle showdown against the Golden Gophers of Minnesota, a team that Wisconsin split four games with last season. Those games are slated for Nov. 5-6.

The beginning of a six-game homestand follows for the Cardinal and White, with North Dakota visiting on Nov. 12-13. Minnesota Duluth comes to Madison on Nov. 19-20, before Wisconsin squares off against the Michigan Wolverines on Nov. 26 and the Michigan State Spartans on Nov. 27 in the annual College Hockey Showcase.

Wisconsin then hits the road for its farthest trek of the season, as the team soars northwest to battle the Seawolves of Alaska Anchorage on Dec. 3-4.

Wisconsin closes out the fall semester with its first regular-season games in history against WCHA-newcomer Bemidji State at home on Dec. 10-11.

The UW takes two weekends off for finals week and the holidays before hosting UMass in a rare Thursday-Friday series on Dec. 30-31. The series takes the place of the Badger Hockey Showdown, which will not occur for the first time since 1989.

Wisconsin then plays its second-straight series against a non-conference opponent, welcoming Canisius to the Kohl Center ice Jan. 7-8 to close out the season's non-conference schedule.

The Badgers return to league action on Jan. 14-15 for a series at Minnesota Duluth, before returning home for a Jan. 21-22 series against Minnesota State.

A road swing sandwiches the Badgers' lone mid-schedule bye week, first with a trip to Michigan Tech on Jan. 28-29 and then a visit to WCHA-newcomer Nebraska-Omaha on Feb. 11-12.

Wisconsin's much anticipated Kohl Center contests against Minnesota take place Feb. 18-19, before the Badgers close out the regular season at St. Cloud State on Feb. 25-26 and at home against Colorado College on March 4-5.

The following weekend, the Badgers leap right into the WCHA playoffs, which will now feature 12 teams instead of 10. Depending on how the UW finishes in the regular season, the Badgers will either host a best-of-three series or hit the road for the same series on March 11, 12 and 13 (if necessary).

If the Badgers escape the opening round, they will head to St. Paul, Minn., for the Red Baron WCHA Final Five at the Xcel Energy Center. The Thursday to Saturday tournament will take place on March 17-19 with a new format. Six teams will reach the Final Five, which now references the amount of games played instead of the number of teams participating. The league's top-two squads from the regular season will earn byes, while the remaining four schools will battle it out on Thursday to advance to Friday's semifinals. The third-place game has also been eliminated.

The following weekend marks the beginning of the 2010 NCAA Men's Ice Hockey Tournament. Wisconsin could potentially find itself in any of the four regional sites, which include Green Bay, Wis., Manchester, N.H., St. Louis and Bridgeport, Conn. Those games will take place on March 25, 26 and 27.

After a weekend off the ice, the Frozen Four finds itself in St. Paul, Minn., with the semifinals played on April 7 and the title game on April 9 at the Xcel Energy Center.

Wisconsin's return to the ice follows a 2009-10 season during which it finished as the NCAA runner-up after reaching the 2010 NCAA Championship Game.

The season ticket renewal process begins with a mailing on June 4. Fans can renew online at UWBadgers.com or by returning a completed renewal form. New season ticket holders can request tickets at any time. Ticket locations will vary by availability and be designated at the end of July.

For more information on men's hockey tickets, visit UWBadgers.com.

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