July 7, 2014
Salt Lake City, UT
University of Utah Hockey has released its schedule for the upcoming 2014-2015 season.
Having already locked up an automatic bid to Nationals as host, the U has gone out of its comfort zone this year by scheduling some firsts for the program in preparation for the National Championships.
The Utes will open up the season at home on September 19th where they’ll take on Weber State University. Weber finished the regular season as the top-ranked team in the West last season and finished 14th in the nation. The Utes will then take on the 15th ranked team in the nation the following night when they take on the Utah State Aggies in Salt Lake City.
In October, the Utes will head to Ohio for the 2014 ACHA Men’s Division II Showcase, which highlights some of the top teams in the nation for a beginning of the season tournament. This marks the first time the Utes have been invited to this event and should help prepare the Utes for what they will see at Nationals. Match-ups and times will be announced at a later date.
After a trip to Ohio, the Utes hit the road again the following week as they head to Southern California to take on PAC-8 rival USC and then Loyola Marymount, who the Utes played in the first round of the ACHA West Regionals last year. The Utes then wrap up the month at home against BYU, at Weber State, and at home against Boise State on Halloween.
Utah will continue games against in-state opponents for the first two weeks of November, before the defending PAC-8 Champions in Arizona State make their way back to Salt Lake City for a weekend matchup November 14th and 15th. This will mark the first regular season meeting ever between these two teams as well as their first meeting since the five-overtime PAC-8 Championship Game last February.
After the weekend against ASU, the Utes will once against compete in the Beehive Showcase, which will be hosted by Utah State and Weber State November 20-23. This will mark the fifth time the Utes have competed in this event, which highlights some of the top teams in the West Division each year. The Utes are 7-5 all-time in the Beehive Showcase. Teams with scheduled appearances include Arizona State Elite, San Jose State, Northern Arizona, and Montana Tech.
In December, the Utes will make a weekend trip to Seattle to take on PAC-8 rival Washington before wrapping up the first semester at home December 13th against BYU.
January will mark a month of firsts for the Utes, as they open up the second semester on January 8th against Williston State University. The Tetons are the back-to-back defending national champions in the NJCAA, which features the top junior college hockey programs in the nation. They’ve also won two titles in just three years of being in existence. The Utes will then finish the weekend on the road at Utah state and BYU.
The next weekend will be another first for the program as the team makes its annual trip to Arizona. After opening the weekend against Arizona State’s Elite squad on January 15th, the Utes will head to Tucson for a two-game matchup against the Arizona Wildcats. These two games will mark the Utes first games in recent club history against a ACHA Division I opponent. The Wildcats finished 4th in the WCHL last year and was ranked 18th in the nation. The Utes will finish the weekend on January 18th back in Tempe against Arizona State Elite.
After hosting Washington State January 23rd and 24th, the Utes will host the first annual Wasatch Cup January 30-31, which will put in-state bragging rights on the line in a two-day tournament to decide the best college hockey team in the state of Utah.
The excitement continues as the Skatin’ Utes looks for another title as they head to the PAC-8 Championships on February 6th and 7th. For the first time, the tournament will be held at a neutral site in Lake Tahoe, NV. The Utes will be looking for their second title in four years after going to the championship game all three previous years they have been in the conference.
The Utes will wrap up the regular season against Boise State on February 21st, which will also be Senior Night.
The ACHA West Regionals will take place in Phoenix, AZ on February 28th and March 1st. This weekend will determine the final eight spots at the 2015 ACHA National Championships, hosted by the University of Utah. The tournament will take place March 20-24 at the Salt Lake City Sports Complex. The Utes have already secured a bid to the tournament and will play at Nationals this year as tournament host.
In all, the Utes will play 16 games against teams that finished in the top ten in the West last season and that total will most likely go up when the ACHA Showcase and Beehive Showcase schedules are announced. With three of the top five teams in the West playing in the state of Utah, this season sets up to be one of the most exciting season in Utah Hockey history.
Stay tuned for more updates as the upcoming season gets closer!
Season tickets are schedule to go on sale August 4th, 2014.