Guy Gadowsky’s team will defend its Big Ten Championship beginning this Sunday when it hosts Ottawa at 3 p.m. in Hockey Valley. The following weekend the regular-season will begin. Today the team announced game times and also the television schedule. Ten of the final thirteen regular-season games will be televised, all but one on the Big Ten Network.
Once the team enters post-season play every game will be televised, as they were last year. The team finished with three Big Ten Tournament games and two NCAA Tournament games on television a year ago. This season the Big Ten Tournament format changes, with the games moving from the barren Joe Louis Arena in Detroit to campus locations. There may be B1G conference tournament games held in Pegula Ice Arena this March.
Last season just 8 out of 34 regular-season games were televised on network television. This season the tally is at least 11 out of 34. The good news is that starting on January 6, at least one game of the final seven Big Ten Conference series will be televised.
The schedule for games streamed online should be known soon as well, and if it is similar to last season, nearly all of the games will be available via online stream.
The team will be televised just once in the first semester of the season. That stretch includes 10 non-conference games and 10 conference games. The good news is that two of the games will be on the road versus Notre Dame, which is making its debut in the Big Ten hockey conference this season. The Fighting Irish have a high-quality, free stream site that will likely broadcast the two games. The one televised game will be the third game of the season, and first Big Ten game, versus Minnesota on the road on October 13.
While it would be great to have more, or every game televised, it is less important that the early-season games are easier to be seen than the later conference match-ups. Several of the first 20 games will be lop-sided and played during football weekends when fans’ attention will be divided.
Having all but three of the final thirteen regular-season conference games, and all post-season games, on television will help fans closely follow the team in the important second-semester conference stretch-run.
Last season the BTN2Go application carried many games, and a dozen or so were available via the BTN Plus $9.99 per month subscription online stream. If that continues this season, which all indications point to that being the case, the team will have much better coverage than it did a year ago.
The second weekend of February will be the team’s bye week, which comes following a series at home with Notre Dame.