With the NHL in full lockout mode, people looking for a hockey fix on television should have no problem.
In fact, more than 150 college hockey games have or will be broadcast during the 2012-13 season as the impact of college hockey on television has continued to grow. There are upward of 10 networks that will show games during the season from NESN, Big Ten Network and Root Sports to NBC and CBS Sports Networks. In addition, there are some nights during the winter which will have up to six games on various networks at the same time.
“The two biggest things we have seen with regards to college hockey on television over the years is first the number of games, and then second, the reach of the networks carrying the games,” College Hockey, Inc. director of communications Nate Ewell said. “Previously, the regional networks were just that and if you didn’t live in that area you couldn’t get the game, but now with satellite providers such as DirecTV and Dish Network you can see those games even if you don’t live in that region.”
From a national perspective, the addition of the NBC and CBS Sports Network has had a significant impact as has the Score network in Canada, which has started showing college games.
“We were at a youth tournament in Chicago last week with youth players from all over, and when we asked how many people were familiar with college hockey almost every hand was raised,” Ewell said. “In fact, there were kids from Toronto who watch college hockey on TV almost every week, and kids from Dallas who see a lot of it on CBS and NBC.”
Meanwhile the entire NCAA tournament will be broadcast on ESPN’s family of networks for the ninth consecutive year, with the championship game airing on ESPN. During regional weekend March 29-31, ESPN will broadcast 30 hours of game action during a 54-hour span. The Division I Men’s Ice Hockey selection show will also be shown live on ESPNU.
• The Quinnipiac special teams have truly been special this year. The Bobcats are the only team in the nation with a perfect mark on the penalty kill after 27 chances. It is the fifth-most penalized team in the nation at almost 18 minutes per game. However, on the flip side, Quinnipiac is the only team in the nation not to have scored on its own power play. The Bobcats have not scored on any of their 29 chances so far this season. Brown is the only other team in the nation without a power play goal, but it has had only 15 chances.
• North Dakota heads to St. Cloud, Minn. for a WCHA series against the St. Cloud State Huskies. With the game being played at the National Hockey and Event Center, there has been a trend that neither team should plan on getting a sweep. During the past 10 years, North Dakota has not won a Friday game in St. Cloud (0-6-4), but has not lost a Saturday game (10-0) during that same stretch. The interesting thing for this year is that North Dakota is 3-0 on Fridays and 0-2-1 on Saturdays, so if the trend continues it would be UND’s first win on Saturday this year.
• RIT has become accustomed to getting off to slow starts at the Division I level. In 2009-10, the Tigers started 0-5, but rebounded to go 28-7-1 the rest of the way and make their unforgettable run to the Frozen Four. RIT has had just one October where it finished at .500 (2006-07, 3-3-1). This season, RIT went 1-4-0 in October and is just 12-25-4 in October since the start of the 2006-07 season. The Tigers are better in November at 22-12-6 since 2006, including 14-3-3 since 2009.
• Michigan Tech announced a change of dates and venue for the 48th Great Lakes Invitational. The event was originally scheduled to be played outdoors at Comerica Park as part of the Hockeytown Winter Festival and in conjunction with the NHL Winter Classic. With the absence of a collective bargaining agreement between the NHL and the NHL Players Association, the league canceled both outdoor events. The GLI will now take place at the tournament’s usual home, Joe Louis Arena, on Dec. 29-30. Tech will face Michigan one semifinal with Michigan State and Western Michigan squaring off in the other on Dec. 29. The third-place and championship games are slated for Dec. 30.
Notre Dame faces off against Boston College on Friday at Conte Forum in Boston. The Irish will play one game with the Eagles as part of a Notre Dame-Boston College hockey-football weekend as the Irish football team plays at BC on Saturday. … BC has won six consecutive and 25 of the last 26 games dating into last winter. … Minnesota Duluth has not been shut out on the road during the regular season in almost five years (2-0 vs. Bemidji State on Jan. 5, 2007), but has been blanked at home during that same stretch on six occasions. … Air Force goalie Jason Torf stopped 63 of 66 in the Holy Cross series. He tied his career high 40 saves on Friday and then posted his eighth career shutout on Saturday. He needs just 23 saves for 1,500 in his career. … Nebraska-Omaha senior goalie John Faulkner is three wins from tying Jerad Kaufmann for second all-time in wins at UNO. Faulkner’s career record stands at 42-34-9. … Miami (Ohio) freshman Sean Kuraly, whose father, Rick, is Miami’s all-time leading goal scorer, scored his first collegiate goal last Saturday in the win at Ferris State. Rick scored 101 goals from 1979-83. The younger Kuraly’s first goal came on the power play. … Miami (Ohio) director of hockey operations Brad Aldrich will be facing his alma mater this weekend as he is a 2005 graduate of Northern Michigan. He did not play hockey for the Wildcats, however. … Canisius is searching for its first win at RIT since the 2006-07 campaign on Saturday. … Massachusetts-Lowell will end a 12-day hiatus when it hosts Maine for a pair of games at the Tsongas Center Friday and Saturday. Last year, the River Hawks won both games (5-3, 4-3) in Orono – its first sweep at Maine since 1985 – before the Black Bears exacted revenge (2-1) in Lowell. … After a bye week, the Buckeyes open their home slate against Alaska. Ohio State played its first six games on the road. It was the longest streak to start the year since the 1998-99 squad played its first nine games away while Value City Arena was being built.