Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Who's Next?

We still haven't seen a preliminary schedule for the Engineers, which is a bit odd for this time of year, but we can probably expect something relatively soon nonetheless.

Ahead of that, here's what we do know at this point, at least.

* We know that the Engineers will travel to Notre Dame in early October (exactly which weekend is not yet known) to participate in the 2014 Icebreaker along with the Fighting Irish, Minnesota, and Minnesota-Duluth. We suspect that RPI will take on Notre Dame in the Friday game, but nothing is firm yet. This tournament is exempt from the usual limit of 34 regular season games, meaning RPI will have 36 games this coming year.

* It has been released that the Engineers will be traveling to Ann Arbor, MI to take on the Michigan Wolverines in a pair of games.

* The working assumption for the last couple of seasons has been that St. Cloud State would be coming to Troy in 2014-15 as a return trip for RPI's visit to St. Cloud in 2012-13. However, Union visited St. Cloud for a pair in 2013-14, and the question is whether St. Cloud will be doing what Michigan is doing in 2015-16 with the Capital District, by playing RPI and Union once each (Union travels to Michigan in 2016-17 for two) as a return. So this is either one game or two.

* Since Denver came to Troy in 2013-14, one would expect a return trip to be due for the Engineers, whether this is taking place in 2014-15 is unknown.

* RPI had been set to travel to Western Michigan in 2012-13 before the NHL announced the Winter Classic for Ann Arbor that year, inducing the Great Lakes Invitational to swap St. Cloud for the Broncos for a planned all-Michigan outdoor GLI. In turn, RPI played St. Cloud in place of playing WMU. That all-Michigan outdoor GLI didn't happen in 2012-13 due to the NHL lockout, so it took place this season instead. Whether or not RPI and WMU are still planning to link up is unknown - part of the impetus for the plan in the first place was Jeff Blashill, Seth Appert's roommate at Ferris State, becoming the Broncos' head coach, he has since become head coach of the AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins.

* The BU-RPI "series" has been held in Boston two years in a row, it would not be a shock to see a BU-RPI game in Troy this coming season, though whether BU coach David Quinn is interested in continuing to play RPI every season as Jack Parker did has yet to be established.

* Not at all known if BC plans to reciprocate a game in Troy for the game in Chestnut Hill this season.

* This year's RPI-UNH game in Troy was the completion of a two-year home-and-home matchup between the schools, but it's not uncommon to see UNH on the schedule anyway. Certainly nothing firm here.

* Unless the Mayor's Cup brawl has soured relations beyond salvage, the 3rd installment is expected to take place in Albany. No reason to expect that it won't happen, though, especially now that there's a history to the game that could draw additional casual fans.

* Count on at least two games against Atlantic Hockey opponents. This year's series at Mercyhurst ended a two-year home-and-home. Sacred Heart and Army are common opponents, RIT and American International have been in the recent past.

* 22 ECAC games, same as usual.

According to the ECAC schedule for 2014-15 was put out in 2012, although sometimes games are moved around for a number of reasons, not the least of which is accommodation for Harvard's Beanpot participation. We should expect that will happen in the coming year as the Engineers are scheduled to play at Harvard on the Saturday before the first Monday in February.

If Union can reschedule its game at Dartmouth that same day, January 31 might make some sense for the Mayor's Cup game, although both teams would be returning from road games the previous day. College schedules are usually set in stone ahead of the AHL's schedule, so it's probably not necessary to work around the Albany Devils (who take part in the game's planning anyway).

Games between travel partner pairings are scheduled at the convenience of the two schools, for several years now this has been a home-and-home weekend with Union, usually in either November or December. We can expect that will be the case again this season.

So here's an outline of what we have for the schedule thus far:

Fri, 07 Nov - HARVARD (Black Friday according to precedent)
Sat, 08 Nov - DARTMOUTH
Fri, 14 Nov - PRINCETON
Sat, 15 Nov - QUINNIPIAC

Fri, 05 Dec - at Yale
Sat, 06 Dec - at Brown

Fri, 09 Jan - at Quinnipiac
Sat, 10 Jan - at Princeton
Fri, 16 Jan - COLGATE
Sat, 17 Jan - CORNELL
Fri, 30 Jan - at Dartmouth
Sat, 31 Jan - at Harvard (will be moved according to precedent)

Fri, 06 Feb - at St. Lawrence
Sat, 07 Feb - at Clarkson
Fri, 13 Feb - BROWN
Sat, 14 Feb - YALE (Big Red Freakout! according to precedent)
Fri, 20 Feb - at Cornell
Sat, 21 Feb - at Colgate
Fri, 27 Feb - CLARKSON
Sat, 28 Feb - ST. LAWRENCE (Senior Night according to precedent)

March 6-8 - ECAC First Round (at 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th seeds)
March 13-15 - ECAC Quarterfinals (at 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th seeds)
Fri, 20 Mar - ECAC Semifinals (Lake Placid, NY)
Sat, 21 Mar - ECAC Championship (Lake Placid, NY)
March 27-29 - NCAA Regionals (Providence, RI; Manchester, NH; South Bend, IN; Fargo, ND)

Thu, 09 Apr - NCAA Frozen Four (Boston, MA)
Sat, 11 Apr - NCAA Championship (Boston, MA)

So, for what we think we know, there are 28 (or 29, depending on St. Cloud's plans) games accounted for. We'll just have to wait and see what the rest of the schedule looks like when it's released, usually in a tentative format for season ticket brochures.

1 comment:

  1. I recall a news release stating the Mayor's Cup next year will take place on January 24.


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