Reversions and revisions on schedule
Reigning Canadian, American champs among slated visitors
The PC women’s 2009-2010 itinerary was pasted for public viewing on the team’s official website early yesterday morning with at least three standout deviations from the procedures of recent memory:
1. The Friars will return to the practice of scrimmaging a Canadian Interuniversity squad rather than a younger Provincial Women’s League team, as they had done for each of the last five seasons. And ironically, McGill University, the last Northern collegiate program to help PC tune up back in 2003, is on tap to stop by on Saturday, September 26. Only 15 more weeks until face-off with the two-time defending CIS champion Martlets…
2. The interleague portion of the schedule has doubled the WCHA content from two games to four. Of all people, the defending national champion Wisconsin Badgers will bus over here for a two-night stay immediately after Thanksgiving, and right after New Year’s, the Friars will venture to Minnesota to visit both Minnesota State-Mankato and St. Cloud State (assistant coach: 2002 alumna Jennifer Kranz). The westward venture will be head coach Bob Deraney’s first business trip to the State of Hockey since the landmark NCAA tournament bout with the Golden Gophers in 2005.
3. The Mayor’s Cup will fall remarkably earlier than usual: Brown comes over for a 2:00 tussle on Sunday, October 25, effectively snapping a seven-year-old habit of conducting the Divine City Dance during Thanksgiving week.
Not unlike this past season, though, the Friars will waste next to no time transitioning from the customary preseason exhibition to the real deal competition. They will commence the regular season with a two-game hosting to Maine, Friday-Saturday, October 2-3.
From there, they will make an excursion to upstate New York, visiting Clarkson and St. Lawrence, before returning to polish off the month with a five-game homestand, meaning seven out of the 18 prescheduled home dates will have already been consumed by the time the calendar Zamboni brings about November. And by the December deceleration, PC will have had four more home dates, meaning only five will remain, along with eight away games, in January and February 2010.
Newfangled adversary Syracuse, entering its second year as a Division I program and dropping in on October 17, will be the lone College Hockey America on the schedule.
A January 30 day trip to Harvard shall mark PC’s first visit to Cambridge since December 9, 2006 and the programs’ first meeting since December 8, 2007
Other direct returnees to the nonconference schedule from last year:
October 16 vs. Colgate- This will be the Raiders second consecutive trip to Schneider Arena and fourth over the last five seasons.
October 23 vs. Yale- The yearly site-alternating pattern as old as the Women’s Hockey East Association continues.
January 8-9 vs. Cornell- The Big Red return the favor after the two played a pair at Lynah Rink in the first full week of 2009.
Robert Morris is out of the picture for the first time since 2005-06, Mercyhurst for the first time since 2002-03, and both Dartmouth and Niagara for the first time since they were still ECAC cohabitants.
The two most jutting items on the conference schedule: Sunday, November 1, at Connecticut and Saturday, December 5, at New Hampshire, the two playoff rematches from 2009.
Al Daniel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
THE SCHEDULE STUDY
Home games: 18 (10 Hockey East, eight nonconference)
Road games: 16 (11 Hockey East, five nonconference)
Weeknights: 1 (Thursday, December 10 at Boston College)
Friday nights: 9 (6 home, 3 road)
Saturday afternoons: 13 (6 home, 7 road)
Saturday nights: 2 (1 home, 1 road)
Sundays: 9 (5 home, 4 road)
Match-ups with 2009 NCAA tournament participants: 9 (St. Lawrence, Wisconsin, UNH, BC)
Post-season: Conference quarterfinals Saturday, February 27; conference semifinals/championship March 6-7; NCAA quarterfinals Saturday, March 13; Frozen Four March 19-21