ORONO, Maine -- Eighteen games at Alfond Arena, the 2012 Ice Breaker Tournament and the 2012 Florida College Classic highlight Maine's 2012-2013 men's ice hockey schedule released today. In addition to the always challenging Hockey East schedule, Maine plays in a pair of tournaments with highly touted foes.
"I really like our schedule for the 2012-2013 season," said Maine head coach Tim Whitehead. "We face a challenging slate, including some non-conference opponents that we don't normally see. We can't wait to get started."
Maine drops the puck on the 2012-2013 season on Saturday, Oct. 6 when it hosts Quinnipiac. The Black Bears will play an exhibition game with New Brunswick the following day.
Maine then travels to Kansas City for the 2012-2013 Ice Breaker Tournament. The Black Bears will face Notre Dame, a recent addition to Hockey East in the upcoming years, the first night, before taking on either Army or Nebraska-Omaha the second night.
Maine then welcomes St. Lawrence for a pair of games on Oct. 19 and 20. The Black Bears play their first Hockey East games of the season when they travel to Providence Oct. 26 and 27. Maine then returns home to host 2012 defending National Champion Boston College on Nov. 2 and arch-rival New Hampshire on Nov. 4. The Black Bears then travel to UMass Lowell Nov. 9 and 10. The Black Bears host UMass on Nov. 16. Vermont comes to town for a weekend series Nov. 30 and Dec. 1. Maine ends the first semester with a trip to Boston University on Dec. 8.
The Black Bears return to the 2012 Florida College Classic when they will face Minnesota-Duluth in a rematch of its 2012 NCAA Tournament game on Dec. 28. Maine will face either Cornell or 2012 Frozen Four participant Ferris State the following night.
January begins with a series against Mercyhurst. The Friday night game on Jan. 4 will be played at the Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland, while Saturday's game will be at Alfond Arena. Maine then travels to Northeastern and Merrimack Jan. 11 and 12. It will be three-straight games with Merrimack, Maine's 2012 Hockey East quarterfinal opponent, when the Black Bears welcome the Warriors to town Jan. 18 and 19. January ends with a trip to Boston College on Jan. 25 and 26.
Maine hosts Providence on Feb. 1 and UMass Lowell on Feb. 3. The Black Bears then travel to Vermont for a single game with the Catamounts on Feb. 9, before returning home to host Boston University for a pair of games. UMass comes to Alfond Arena to end February on the 22 and 23.
Maine hosts Northeastern for senior weekend March 1 and 2. Prior to the game on Saturday night, Maine's senior class will be honored for the accomplishments the previous four years.
Maine ends the regular season with a trip to rival New Hampshire March 8 and 9. The Hockey East quarterfinals are slated for March 15-17, while the semifinals will be March 22 and the championship on March 23 at the T.D. Garden in Boston.
Maine, coming off an appearance in the 2012 NCAA Tournament, returns 17 letterwinners from that squad. Captains Mike Cornell (Franklin, Mass.), Joey Diamond (Long Beach, N.Y.) and Mark Nemec (Rouses Point, N.Y.) highlight the returners who are expected to make and impact during the upcoming season. Diamond led all Black Bears in goals a year ago with 25. Also returning is junior goaltender Dan Sullivan (York, Pa.), who was 22-11-3 last year with a 2.59 goals against average and a .909 save percentage.
Season tickets are on sale now by calling the Black Bear Ticket Office at 207-581-BEAR. Seat assignments for new season tickets will take place after the renewal process is complete. The renewal process is ongoing through July.