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18 times at home: Northern Michigan University Wildcats hockey team hosts 1991 national title opponent Boston University to open home hockey season this fall

Northern Michigan University’s Griffin Loughran, center, takes a shot on Alaska-Fairbanks goalie Anton Martinsson during a Nov. 15 game played at the Berry Events Center in Marquette. Loughran is the Wildcats’ top returning scorer after he put in 23 goals last season, which was also second in the nation. (Journal file photo by Amy Grigas)

Northern Michigan University hockey 2020-21

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Home games 7 p.m. Friday/6 p.m. Saturday

Away game times not yet available

All series Friday-Saturday except as noted

Northern Michigan University's Griffin Loughran, front, disarms and knocks the stick away from Alaska-Fairbanks' Max Newton in the third period of their WCHA game on Nov. 16 played at the Berry Events Center in Marquette. Loughran is the Wildcats’ top returning scorer after he put in 23 goals last season, which was also second in the nation. (Photo courtesy Daryl T. Jarvinen)

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Sat.-Sun., Oct. 3-4 Opponent TBA

Oct. 9-10 (off week)

Oct. 16-17 BOSTON UNIVERSITY

Oct. 23-24 at Alaska-Anchorage

Oct. 30-31 BEMIDJI STATE

Nov. 6-7 at Minnesota State-Mankato

Nov. 13-14 at Lake Superior State

Nov. 20-21 ALASKA-FAIRBANKS

Nov. 27-28 COLGATE

Fri., Dec. 4 MICHIGAN TECH

Sat., Dec. 5 at Michigan Tech

Dec. 11-12 BOWLING GREEN STATE

Dec. 18-19, 25-26 (off weeks)

Sat.-Sun., Jan. 2-3 at North Dakota

Jan. 8-9 LAKE SUPERIOR STATE

Jan. 15-16 at Ferris State

Jan. 22-23 (off week)

Jan. 29-30 at Bowling Green State

Feb. 5-6 ALASKA-ANCHORAGE

Feb. 12-13 at Bemidji State

Feb. 19-20 ALABAMA-HUNTSVILLE

Fri., Feb. 26 at Michigan Tech

Sat., Feb. 27 MICHIGAN TECH

March 5-20

WCHA playoffs

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MARQUETTE — Northern Michigan University has released its hockey schedule — or at least all but one week of it — and it will feature an early home series against the team it defeated for the 1991 NCAA Division I championship.

Boston University will trek to Marquette on Oct. 16-17 for a pair of games as the Terriers make the return trip here after NMU played to a win and tie against BU in Boston last year. Like nearly every other pair of games during the season, this series will be played on a Friday and Saturday.

The only exceptions are a Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 2-3, series at North Dakota so as to avoid New Year’s Day, and the season-opening series, tentatively listed as Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 3-4, but with no opponent yet determined though expected to be played on the road. An NMU sports release said the agreement to play the unlisted opponent is “in process.”

In all, the Wildcats are scheduled for 18 home games at the Berry Events Center with all Friday games set to begin at 7 p.m. and Saturday games at 6 p.m. as was established last season.

The Boston University series will include a celebration of the 30th anniversary of Northern’s only hockey national title as it occurred as part of the 1990-91 season. More details about the observance will be announced as the season nears.

Other highlights of the Wildcats’ final year in the WCHA — they and six other league teams will re-form the CCHA for the 2021-22 season — include a pair of home-and-home series against Upper Peninsula and league rival Michigan Tech on Dec. 4-5 and Feb. 26-27. NMU is at home for the Friday game in December and for the Saturday game in February.

Also in the WCHA, the Wildcats have two series against their other U.P. and league rival Lake Superior State on the road on Nov. 13-14 and at home on Jan. 8-9, with all four games included as part of the annual Cappo Cup series.

NMU also has just one series against three-time defending WCHA regular-season champion Minnesota State-Mankato, on the road Nov. 6-7, and only one trip to Alaska with a series at Alaska-Anchorage on Oct. 23-24.

Each Alaska school comes to Marquette, however, with Alaska-Fairbanks visiting Nov. 20-21 and Alaska-Anchorage here Feb. 5-6.

Out of the conference, Northern also has a home series against Colgate on Nov. 27-28, which is Thanksgiving weekend, and the Jan. 2-3 pair of games at North Dakota, which will be at NMU head coach Grant Potulny’s hometown of Grand Forks.

The Wildcats have only played one previous game against Colgate, a 4-1 win on Jan. 4, 1985, at the Phoenix Mutual Tournament, and have only played two games against North Dakota since 1997, 4-1 and 3-1 losses in Grand Forks in December 2013.

Other NMU home series are in the WCHA against Bemidji State on Oct. 30-31, Bowling Green State on Dec. 11-12 and Alabama-Huntsville on Feb. 19-20.

The WCHA playoffs begin the week after the February series against Michigan Tech with the quarterfinals on Friday through Sunday, March 5-7, followed by the semifinals on March 12-14. Higher seeds will host lower seeds in those best-of-three series.

The single-game WCHA playoff championship will be played on Saturday, March 20, at the site of the higher remaining seed.

Northern’s longest homestand will be five games spanning from Nov. 20-Dec. 4 and include series against Alaska-Fairbanks and Colgate along with the first game of an MTU series, while its longest road trip will be four games twice — from Nov. 6-14 at Minnesota State and LSSU and from Jan. 15-30 at Ferris State and Bowling Green.

Times for road contests haven’t been released, while tickets for the upcoming season are not on sale yet.

Last season, the Wildcats posted an 18-16-4 record, peaking at No. 15 in the national polls. They return three of their top-five scorers in 2020-21, including Griffin Loughran, who finished second in the nation in goals with 23 as he totaled 39 points. Nine returning players had at least 10 points last season.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee. His email address is sbrownlee@miningjournal.net.

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