WMU News

Hockey Broncos unveil 2002-03 schedule

May 29, 2002

KALAMAZOO -- Non-conference series against three NCAA Tournament teams and 18 home dates highlight the Western Michigan University 2002-03 hockey schedule, announced yesterday by head coach Jim Culhane. The upcoming season marks the 30th year of varsity hockey at WMU.

The Broncos will play 28 games in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association, including four games against geographical rivals Bowling Green, Ferris State and Notre Dame. WMU opens regular season and CCHA action on Friday, Oct. 11, at Bowling Green with the home opener slated for the following night against BGSU.

Culhane's team squares off against Michigan in a home-and-home series Jan. 10-11 and, in a scheduling quirk, doesn't meet Michigan State until the final weekend of league action on March 7-8.

The Broncos have posted a stellar 13-2-1 non-conference record the last two seasons, but will have their work cut out in 2002-03. WMU encounters Maine Oct. 25-26 on the Black Bears' home ice and travels to Colorado College Dec. 20-21 during the holiday break. In addition, Cornell comes to town for a two-game set Dec. 6-7. Maine advanced to the NCAA Championship Game last spring (falling to Minnesota) while Cornell and Colorado College both won NCAA First Round contests.

WMU will also meet a pair of College Hockey America opponents in Niagara Nov. 23 and Findlay Jan. 4 at Lawson Arena.

"You look at the schedule and the biggest thing that stands out is the tremendous competition in the CCHA," said Culhane, who has led WMU to national rankings in back-to-back campaigns. "Non-conference wise, we have a big challenge in facing three NCAA tourney teams, with four of the six games being on the road."

For the second straight year, all 12 league schools will qualify for the CCHA Tournament. The top six teams, based on regular season finish, host seeds 7-12 in a best-of-three series. Winners advance to CCHA Super Six weekend at Joe Louis Arena March 21-23.

As a result of an unbalanced league schedule, Western Michigan does not travel to Lake Superior State, Nebraska-Omaha or Miami this season. Conversely, Alaska Fairbanks, Northern Michigan and Ohio State will not play in Kalamazoo. WMU will be making the 3,500-mile trek to Fairbanks, Alaska, for the third straight season.

Orders for Bronco Hockey season tickets are now being accepted at the WMU Athletic Ticket Office. For more information, call (616) 387-8092 or toll free (888 ) 4-WMU-TIX.

2002-03 WMU Hockey Schedule

Fri., Sept. 27  BROWN & GOLD (scrimmage) 7 p.m.
Sat., Oct. 5    WATERLOO (exhibition)    7 p.m.
Fri., Oct. 11   at Bowling Green*        7 p.m.       
Sat., Oct. 12   BOWLING GREEN*           7 p.m.       
Fri., Oct. 18   at Notre Dame*           7 p.m.       
Sat., Oct. 19   NOTRE DAME*              7 p.m.
Fri., Oct. 25   at Maine Alfond Arena    7 p.m.       
Sat., Oct. 26   at Maine Alfond Arena    7 p.m.       
Fri., Nov. 1    NEBRASKA-OMAHA*          7 p.m.
Sat., Nov. 2    NEBRASKA-OMAHA*          7 p.m.
Fri., Nov. 8    at Northern Michigan*    7 p.m.
Sat., Nov. 9    at Northern Michigan*    7 p.m.
Fri., Nov. 15   at Ferris State*         7 p.m.
Sat., Nov. 16   FERRIS STATE*            7 p.m.
Sat., Nov. 23   NIAGARA                  7 p.m.
Fri., Nov. 29   LAKE SUPERIOR STATE*     7 p.m.
Sat., Nov. 30   LAKE SUPERIOR STATE*     7 p.m.
Fri., Dec. 6    CORNELL                  7 p.m.
Sat., Dec. 7    CORNELL                  7 p.m.
Fri., Dec. 20   at Colorado College      7:30 p.m.
Sat., Dec. 21   at Colorado College      7 p.m.
Sat., Jan. 4    FINDLAY                  7 p.m.
Fri., Jan. 10   MICHIGAN*                7 p.m.
Sat., Jan. 11   at Michigan*             7:30 p.m.
Fri., Jan. 17   MIAMI*                   7 p.m.
Sat., Jan. 18   MIAMI*                   7 p.m.
Fri., Jan. 24   at Alaska Fairbanks*     7 p.m.       
Sat., Jan. 25   at Alaska Fairbanks*     7 p.m.
Fri., Feb. 7    at Ohio State*           7:30 p.m.       
Sat., Feb. 8    at Ohio State*           7 p.m.
Sat., Feb. 15   at Ferris State*         7 p.m.
Sun., Feb. 16   FERRIS STATE*            TBA matinee
Fri., Feb. 21   BOWLING GREEN*           7 p.m.
Sat., Feb. 22   at Bowling Green*        7 p.m.
Fri., Feb. 28   NOTRE DAME*              7 p.m.
Sat., March 1   at Notre Dame*           7 p.m.
Fri., March 7   MICHIGAN STATE*          7 p.m.
Sat., March 8   at Michigan State*       7 p.m.

*CCHA match. ALL CAPS are home matches.

Fri., March 14  CCHA First Round Playoffs begin at top six seeds         
Fri., March 21  CCHA Super Six begins at Joe Louis Arena, Detroit          
Fri., March 28  NCAA Regionals begin at Worcester, Mass., and Ann Arbor, Mich.                
Thu., April 10  NCAA Frozen Four begins at Buffalo, N.Y.

Media contact: Daniel Jankowski, 269 387-4138, daniel.jankowski@wmich.edu

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