Colorado College announced a 2017-18 season schedule that features first-time opponent Arizona State visiting the Broadmoor World Arena for a rare Saturday-Sunday series, Dec. 16-17.
The Tigers will also play at Air Force Dec. 29 and host Hockey East’s Merrimack College on Dec. 30 to conclude its nonconference schedule before going full time into National Collegiate Hockey Conference play in 2017 with seven home series.
ASU, a second-year independent, has been hoping to join the Colorado Springs-based NCHC for some time now. The Tigers have been working to line up a nonconference series against the Pac-12 school since the new program was announced.
The Sun Devils, 6-19-13 vs Division I teams last year, went 0-4-1 against NCHC teams and split a home series with Air Force last season.
Details on a possible exhibition game will be announced later. The first Denver series follows two weeks off for the Tigers, including Thanksgiving weekend.
While being in the NCHC guarantees one of Division I’s toughest schedules, the Tigers open the campaign with four of six games against programs coming off losing seasons.
None of the three made the NCAA tournament. That could help the rebuilding CC program get off to a better start.
The Tigers, 8-24-4 last season, open at Hockey East member Vermont (20-13-5 last year), former Western Collegiate Hockey Association foe Alaska-Anchorage (7-21-6) and HEA’s New Hampshire (15-20-5) before returning to the Broadmoor World Arena to open league play against perennial power North Dakota on Oct. 27-28. It is the only league series that weekend.
“We need to be ready to go with two Hockey East teams and a WCHA foe,” Tigers coach Mike Haviland said. ‘It is very important to get off to a good start and get this team some confidence.”
Dates to circle on the calendar include four games against NCAA champion Denver (Dec. 8-9, Feb. 16-17), Atlantic Hockey Conference champion AFA and two home games against NCAA runner-up Minnesota-Duluth Jan. 12-13.
Other league highlights include four games against Omaha, Miami and Western Michigan, including the regular season-finale on March 3 against the Broncos, and two road games against St. Cloud State.
At this point, the Tigers will play 11 games against NCAA entrants next season. CC played 18 versus tournament teams last season and 30 games against team ranked in the Top 20.
“We’re still going to have a very challenging schedule,” Haviland said. "We have a lot of juniors and sophomores who have been through this now, and we cannot have any excuses out of the gate.”
2017-18 TIGERS HOCKEY SCHEDULE
Oct. 6-7 at Vermont
Oct. 13-14 Alaska-Anchorage (Homecoming)
Oct. 20-21 at New Hampshire
Oct. 27-28 North Dakota
Nov. 3-4 at Miami
Nov. 10-11 Omaha
Nov. 17-18 at St. Cloud State
Dec. 8 at Denver
Dec. 9 Denver
Dec. 16-17 Arizona State
Dec. 29 at Air Force
Dec. 30 Merrimack
Jan. 12-13 Minnesota-Duluth
Jan. 19-20 at Western Michigan
Jan. 26-27 Miami
Feb. 9-10 at North Dakota
Feb. 16 Denver
Feb. 17 at Denver
Feb. 23-24 at Omaha
March 2-3 Western Michigan
March 9-11 Best of three quarterfinals
March 16-17 NCHC Frozen faceoff (Minneapolis)