On July 1st the Maine Black Bears announced their schedule for the 2013-14 season.
A couple notes on the schedule is they’re scheduled to play 32 games with three exhibition games against Canadian teams throughout the season. Of those 32 games, 20 will be scheduled as conference match-ups playing each team in the conference twice. This is a reduction of seven conference games due to the addition of newcomer Notre Dame to Hockey East who previously played in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association or CCHA for short.
Of the 12 non-conference match-ups, Maine will kickoff the season with a two-game road series against St. Lawrence, whom they played in 2012 (Losing both games at the Alfond 5-0, 5-1). They will participate in the annual Florida College Classic which is a two-game tournament in the days following Christmas in Estero, Florida. Other non-conference games include hosting Bentley for one game in Oct, American International for two in Dec, UMass for two in Oct. They will travel to Vermont for two in Nov and will play one game against NCAA runner-up Quinnipiac in Jan (Maine lost to Quinnipiac in 2012 at the Alfond 2-1).
As previously mentioned, Maine will play 20 conference games, noted games include hosting UMass for two games in Oct, foes BU and BC for one game each in Nov, Umass-Lowell for one game in Dec, arch-rival UNH will come in for one game in Jan, Merrimack will come for two and lastly Providence will come for two games on Feb 28/Mar 1. For road games, Maine will travel to Umass for two games in Oct, they’ll travel to Umass-Lowell and BC for one game each in same weekend in Jan, go to arch-rival UNH for one game in Jan, they’ll visit conference-newbie Notre Dame in South Bend, IN for two-games in Feb, they’ll lastly play two against Northeastern for two in Feb. They also will play one conference game against BU on January 11, 2014 at Fenway Park in Boston, MA but I’m gonna cover in detail on Wednesday.
One thing that is of note is Maine absent from playing at the Cumberland Country Civic Center in Portland, ME this season. The Civic Center is in the middle of phase II of their major renovation that is expected to be completed by Dec/Jan. It was announced in August that Maine will play rival UNH at the Civic Center in a non-conference game starting in 2014-15. Over the last few years, UMaine has been trying to reach out to Southern Maine, as they can be vital to a revival of the program. Lots of alumni live in the southern part of the state (including my family) and by giving fans meaningful games instead of a softie non-conference game like they have the last few years (Clarkson in 2011-12 & Mercyhurst in 2012-13), they’ve shown they’re making an effort. Although they’ve averaged roughly 5,000 fans in the two games, they could easily sellout if they had a more “meaningful” games. The Civic Center holds a capacity of about 6,300 for hockey, which is just over a thousand more than what Alfond Arena can hold at capacity.
For the look at the full schedule, pop over to the schedules page at the top of the blog.
For any comments on UMaine’s schedule feel free to comment below or tweet at me @aquirko