UMD men's hockey: Arizona State, Cornell, Wisconsin, Bemidji State set to visit Bulldogs in 2022-23
The Sun Devils and Big Red are making their first-ever appearances in Duluth to play the Bulldogs while the Badgers are back for the first time since 2012.
DULUTH — Arizona State, Wisconsin, Cornell and Bemidji State are among the nonconference foes scheduled to visit Amsoil Arena during the 2022-23 season as the Minnesota Duluth men’s hockey program released the entirety of next year’s schedule on Wednesday.
The 2022-23 NCHC portion of the Bulldogs schedule was unveiled a week ago.
Seven of the Bulldogs’ 10 nonconference games are at Amsoil Arena next season, with Arizona State visiting Duluth the opening weekend of Saturday, Oct. 1 and Sunday, Oct. 2. It will be the Sun Devils' first time in Duluth.
The Badgers are returning to Amsoil Arena on Oct. 21-22, 2022. It’s Wisconsin’s first time back in Duluth since Oct. 26-27, 2012. That was the final season that both Wisconsin and UMD played together in the WCHA. The two programs have played just twice since conference realignment — an early-season series in 2019-20 in Madison and last fall in an exhibition in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin.
Cornell is making its first visit to Duluth to play the Bulldogs on Oct. 28-29, 2022 (Cornell did play at the DECC in the 1968 NCAA tournament). The Bulldogs and Big Red have played only two games against each other ever and both were at neutral sites during holiday tournaments. UMD lost to Cornell on Nov. 28, 1968, 2-1 in double overtime in the Syracuse Holiday Tournament and tied 1-1 in OT on Dec. 28, 2005, in the Florida College Classic.
The Bulldogs' other two nonconference series are against in-state rivals, but not the Minnesota Golden Gophers. UMD travels to Mankato to play Minnesota State on Oct. 14-15, 2022, and plays Bemidji State on Jan. 6, 2023, in Bemidji and on Jan. 7, 2023, in Duluth.
The last time the Bulldogs and Gophers did not play during the regular season was the pandemic-shortened 2020-21 season. Before that, it was the 1960-61 season — UMD’s last season in the MIAC and first before becoming a Division I independent.
UMD Men’s Hockey 2022-23 Schedule
HOME GAMES IN ALL CAPS
Oct. 1-2 — ARIZONA STATE
Oct. 7-8 — OFF
Oct. 14-15 — at Minnesota State
Oct. 21-22 — WISCONSIN
Oct. 28-29 — CORNELL
Nov. 4-5 — at Colorado College
Nov. 11-12 — OMAHA
Nov. 18-19 — at Western Michigan
Nov. 25-26 — OFF
Dec. 2-3 — COLORADO COLLEGE
Dec. 9-10 — DENVER
Dec. 16-17 — OFF
Dec. 23-24 — OFF
Dec. 30-31 — OFF
Jan. 6 — at Bemidji State
Jan. 7 — BEMIDJI STATE
Jan. 13-14 — at Omaha
Jan. 20-21 — at North Dakota
Jan. 27-28 — ST. CLOUD STATE
Feb. 3-4 — WESTERN MICHIGAN
Feb. 10-11 — OFF
Feb. 17-18 — at Denver
Feb. 24-25 — MIAMI
March 3-4 — at St. Cloud State
March 10-12 — NCHC quarterfinal series
March 17-18 — NCHC Frozen Faceoff (St. Paul)
March 23-26 — NCAA Regionals (Bridgeport, CT/Manchester, NH/Allentown, PA/Fargo. ND)
April 6-8 — NCAA Frozen Four (Tampa, Florida)
Sandelin wants to help new schools schedule games
Men’s and women’s college hockey coaches, staff members and administrators are gathering in Florida this week for league meetings and the annual American Hockey Coaches Association convention.
When all the current NCAA Division I men’s coaches get together this week, Bulldogs coach Scott Sandelin hopes there is a discussion about scheduling and increasing the number of games played within the regular season.
NCAA Division I men’s college hockey has been expanding in recent years, with Long Island University in New York joining in 2020-21; Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri, and Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts, starting up in 2022-23; and Augustana University in Sioux Falls, South Dakota beginning in 2023-24.
Alaska-Anchorage is also planning to restart its program after a two-year hiatus in 2022-23. Robert Morris will do the same in 2023-24.
NCAA teams are limited to 34 regular season games per season, and with most leagues playing between 24-26 conference games during a given year, it doesn’t leave much room for established programs like UMD to add new schools to its schedule, especially when schedules are set well in advance, Sandelin said.
“If we want to add teams and help those teams out, then give everybody two more games so that maybe you can get them on your schedule for nonconference so it helps those teams,” Sandelin said. “When teams schedule out two or three years or longer, their nonconference games, how do you add those teams?”
Some games are exempt and do not count against the cap of 34 regular season games, such as the Ice Breaker Tournament (held last season in Duluth), U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Game (which North Dakota has cornered) and games played in the state of Alaska.
The Bulldogs do not have any of those on their schedule in 2022-23, meaning they are capped at 34 next season.
Sandelin said he would like to go back up and play at Alaska-Anchorage at some point, as it was a trip he used to “love” back when the two schools were WCHA rivals.
The Seawolves will be one of six independents in NCAA Division I men’s hockey in 2022-23 along with Alaska (Fairbanks), Arizona State, Long Island, Lindenwood and Stonehill. Augustana will be the seventh in 2023-24.
Only Robert Morris, recently re-admitted to Atlantic Hockey, has a home. That’s something Sandelin said needs to change, as expanding schedules beyond 34 games is just a short-term fix for these programs.
“Some teams need to find a home. Collectively as a college body, we need to make that happen,” Sandelin said. “How it happens, I don’t know, but we can’t leave those teams hanging. Eventually we have to start thinking of everybody as a whole.”
This story was updated at 12:15 p.m. on April 20, 2022, to clarify Cornell is playing the Bulldogs for the first time in Duluth next season. Cornell did play at the DECC in the 1968 NCAA tournament. This story was originally published at 11:59 a.m. on April 20, 2022.