Last week, the Icers released a preliminary schedule for next season. Here's the schedule:
|Preliminary 2010-2011 Schedule|
There are 32 regular season games, plus the ESCHL playoffs and Nationals. 16 games are against ESCHL opponents West Chester, Rhode Island, Delaware, and Robert Morris (2 home and 2 away games with each). Then there are the normal 4 games against Ohio, returning to the normal schedule - the two games at Penn State in late October, and the two at Ohio at the start of January.
October is an interesting month filled with non-league opponents. The season starts with two games on the road at Pitt. It's been a couple years since we last played Pitt, but they haven't seemed to have improve all that much. So it's a good opponent to get the team playing at game speed. The Icers then have a random home game against Drexel before starting three straight weekends against top opponents - a revenge series against Central Oklahoma, the always-heated rivalry weekend with Ohio, and then a set against a talented and chippy Liberty team. It will undoubtedly be an interesting string of weekends..
The remaining non-ESCHL match-ups include a strange home-and-home match-up with Towson in November, the now-traditional game against Niagara to finish the Fall semester, and then a weekend set against the ever-meddlesome team from TBD to fill the gap between the ESCHL and ACHA tournaments. It's possible that we might slip a NCAA DIII match-up in there somewhere - Thanksgiving and Winter breaks are still open - but nothing is obviously secured at this point.
The schedule is definitely a step up from last year in terms of difficulty. The easier ESCHL games (Drexel and Navy) are gone, and the openings left by those two teams leaving has been filled with two teams that are in/near the top 10. October looks scary, and the entire Spring semester looks daunting. The Icers are talented enough to win these games, but it will be a tall task to say the least.