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What To Expect From Hockey East

Jun 26, 2013, 12:00 PM EDT

With the release of the 2013-14 Notre Dame hockey schedule this past week, we wanted to give you a little information regarding the new teams that you will see with the Irish moving to Hockey East.

On what fans can expect from the new conference…

“One of the big things with the move to Hockey East is that the conference has great tradition, encompassing some of the best teams in New England and all of college hockey … Irish fans will find Hockey East’s style of play a bit more of a skating game with plenty of skill and finesse from top to bottom … probably more than they are used to seeing in the CCHA.” 

source:  University of Vermont Catamounts

11/1 •  7 p.m. • Away

11/2 • 4:35 p.m. • Away

“The University of Vermont is located in Burlington, Vt., and has a great college hockey tradition … the Catamounts play in a great on-campus arena – Gutterson Fieldhouse – that is one of the great places to watch a college hockey game … the Cats are a young, improving team that will have as many as 18 freshmen and sophomores on the roster this season … coach Kevin Sneddon is in his 11th season behind the Vermont bench and always has teams that pride themselves on their work ethic … assistant coach Kevin Patrick ’92 served as an Irish hockey captain from 1990-92 … the University of Vermont is the home of 2013 Stanley Cup champions, Patrick Sharp and Viktor Stalberg, and NHL star Martin St. Louis.”

source:  Merrimack College Warriors

11/15 • 7:35 p.m. • Home

11/16 • 7:05 p.m. • Home

“Merrimack is a team that Notre Dame faced in the 2011 NCAA Regionals, defeating the Warriors in overtime, 4-3, on the way to a trip to the NCAA Frozen Four … coach Mark Dennehy has done a great job at Merrimack, building the program into perennial Hockey East contender through strong recruiting and hard work … the Warriors return All-American forward Mike Collins who was a runner-up for the Hockey East player of the year award this past season.”

source:  University of Massachusetts – Lowell – River Hawks

11/22 • 7 p.m. • Away

11/23 • 7 p.m. • Away

“The River Hawks are coming off their best season in program history as they won the Hockey East regular season and tournament championships, won the NCAA Northeast Regional and advanced to the Frozen Four where they dropped a 3-2 decision to eventual champion Yale … UMass-Lowell is primed to make yet another run this season with the return of two second-team all-Hockey East performers, Connor Hellebuyck and Joseph Pendenza … head coach Norm Bazin was named the Spencer Penrose Award as the coach of the year in D1 after being a finalist for the same award in 2012 … The team started slow last year before coming on strong at the end of the season, going 23-4-1 over the last 28 games … the River Hawks are a really solid team that doesn’t beat themselves and have an outstanding goalie in Hellebuyck … the two teams will meet for the first time on ice this season.”

source:  University of Massachusetts Minutemen

12/6 • 7:35 p.m. • Home

12/7 • 7:05 p.m.  • Home

“UMass is a veteran team that is led by second-year coach John Micheletto, who has a Notre Dame connection as he spent four years as an Irish assistant coach under Dave Poulin from 1999-03 … the Minutemen play in one of Hockey East’s toughest places – the Mullin Center – and get great support from their students … UMass wants to play an up-tempo style while being strong in the defensive zone … the Minutemen had their ups-and-downs last season missing the Hockey East tournament for the first time in a number of years … with time, Micheletto will bring in the type of player he wants to play the style he wants … it just takes some time.”

source:  Boston College Eagles

1/4 • 7:30 p.m. • Fenway Park (Boston, Mass.)

2/28 • 7 p.m. • Away

“Boston College is the most recognizable Hockey East team for our fans … BC is a great program that churns out talented, highly skilled players … Notre Dame’s rivalry with BC is a great one; two catholic schools that previously both saw one another in most sports in the BIG EAST get to do it more regularly now in the ACC and twice a year in Hockey East … they are coached by Jerry York, the winningest coach in college hockey, not much more needs to be said … the Eagles never seem to have to rebuild, they just reload, adding talented players every year … you can always expect them to have a fast, quick and highly skilled squad.”

source:  Northeastern University Huskies

1/24 • 7:35 p.m. • Home

1/25 • 7:05 p.m. • Home

“Northeastern will be looking to bounce back from last year’s last place finish in Hockey East … coach Jim Madigan is a Northeastern alum and in his second season behind the Huskies’ bench … he will look to replace 11 players from last season … the Huskies have a very exciting player in sophomore forward Kevin Roy who makes things happen on the ice … they will look to improve defensively and must find a replacement in goal for the graduated Chris Rawlings … Northeastern plays in one of the older buildings in Hockey East – Matthews Arena … it has great tradition and can be a tough place for visiting teams to play … Northeastern visited the Compton Family Ice Arena in 2011-12 and handed the Irish a pair of losses in the new building.”

source:  University of New Hampshire Wildcats

1/31 • 7 p.m. • Away

2/1 • 7 p.m. • Away

“UNH is perennially one of the top teams in Hockey East … over the last six seasons the Wildcats have won the league three times and finished second one other year … they always have fast, talented teams that take advantage of the larger, Olympic-size rink they play on at home at the Whittemore Center … the Irish last played New Hampshire in the 2011 Northeast Regional where they defeated the Wildcats, 2-1, to move on to the Frozen Four … UNH head coach Dick Umile is one of the winningest coaches in college hockey and always has team ready to play an up-tempo game … the Wildcats have some of the best fans in Hockey East and make the Whittemore Center one of the toughest places to play.”

source:  Maine Black Bears –

2/7 • 7:35 p.m. • Home

2/8 • 7:05 p.m. • Home

“The University of Maine has a great tradition in Hockey East … the Black Bears  have just brought in a new coach – Dennis “Red” Gendron – who has coached at all levels over the past 30 years … a former assistant under legendary head coach Shawn Walsh, he was a member of the 1993 national title team at Maine … he comes from Yale where he was an associate head coach with the national championship team … Maine has always had fast, physical teams that are highly skilled and strong on the defensive end … this program has played in 11 Frozen Fours, winning national championships in 1993 and 1999 … the Black Bears have a loyal fan base that makes Alfond Arena one of the conferences toughest places to play … the University of Maine is in Orono, Me., just 10 miles north of the fictional Julie “The Cat” Gaffney’s hometown of Bangor … of the top teams in the history of Hockey East.”

source:  Providence College Friars

2/14 • 7 p.m. • Away

2/15 • 7 p.m. • Away

“Providence College is one of the more interesting teams in Hockey East … head coach Nate Leaman has done a great job of turning around the program over the last few years … Leaman has brought some really talented players into the fold since he came there and helped the Friars to back-to-back Hockey East semifinal appearances for the first time since 1995-1996 … they finished tied for third in Hockey East this past season and sport one of the best goalies in the country, Jon Gillies … Gillies was named national rookie of the year and a first-team Hockey East all-star this season … being named first-team all-Hockey East is almost unheard of for a freshman because they have such talented players and deep rosters throughout the league – in fact, Gillies is just the third freshman and first-ever goalie to be named to the first team, joining Paul Kariya (Maine) and Brian Leetch (Boston College) … Schneider Arena is one of the older Arena’s in the league and has housed some great players in the Hockey East and will reopen this September after undergoing a major renovation that began in Nov. 2012 … stylistically, Providence plays a disciplined, four-line game while looking to capitalize on opponent mistakes while working the puck down low in the offensive end.”

source:  Boston University Terriers –

2/21 • 7:35 p.m. • Home

2/22 • 7:05 p.m. • Home

“There will be a change behind the bench for Boston University as long-time, legendary coach Jack Parker has retired after 40 seasons behind the Terriers’ bench …  his successor is former BU standout and assistant coach David Quinn who played for the Terriers from 1984-88 and was an assistant from 2004-09 … he returned to the college ranks after serving as an assistant coach for the Colorado Avalanche last season … BU always has top-end talent that is highly skilled and plays fast … the Terriers always have strong goaltending on a yearly basis with a solid defensive corps … BU has a great on-campus area – Agganis Arena – with tremendous fan support … there is fantastic history within the program as they’ve won five NCAA titles and are considered among the most dominant teams in Hockey East’s 30-year history.”

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