Thursday, November 22, 2012

The only game in town?

Original NHL logo, used until 2005. A version ...
Original NHL logo, used until 2005. A version of the logo features it in the shape of a hockey puck. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The NHL lockout has been a buzzkill so far this fall and it appears that there is no end in sight to the second NHL lock out in eight seasons.
The two sides are literally squabbling over millions of dollars, but have no idea how to come to an agreement on how they’re going to split up their hockey related revenues. While these two sides bicker, college hockey seems to be taking the center stage.
Hockey fans need options and are looking to college hockey to fill their NHL Hockey void.
I have compiled a National Collete Hockey Television Schedule that you can use a guide. I update it, when more games are added to the schedule. In the US, college Hockey might be the only viable option we have this winter, if they two sides don’t come to an agreement soon.
The NHL will cancel the first two weeks of December very soon, if not in days,  if an agreement between the two sides isn’t reached. This is a true fact, that cancellation will probably come after the Thanksgiving holiday.
So how big has college hockey been in absence of NHL Hockey, one team in Grand Forks, North Dakota is the most watched hockey team in North America.
UND hockey is king with the NHL hockey locked out.
If you don’t believe me, check out the article that Brad Schlossman wrote in today’s Grand Forks Herald, which says that UND Hockey is the most followed hockey team in North America.
I don’t think it’s a shock to any of us who have followed UND hockey, which has had a very big following since the team moved the Ralph Englestad Arena for the start of the 2001-02 season.
This season, UND hockey drew it’s 5 millionth fan. That’s pretty good for college hockey, which UND is historically in the top three nationally for attendance every season.
Those fans that come through the turnstiles of the Ralph Englestad Arena  to watch UND hockey are enthusiastic and fired up about watching their favorite team and this hasn’t gone unnoticed by UND head coach Dave Hakstol.
“I don’t know about the attendance marks, but I know about the energy our fans bring,” UND coach Dave Hakstol said. “It’s the best student section in the country. When we leave for pregame meal, there’s 1,000 students already lined up at 2:30 or 3 in the afternoon. When we come back for the game, that student lineup out in the cold wraps halfway around the back of the arena. That, in itself, brings some excitement when you get to the rink.
“Inside the arena, the passion all our fans bring is second to none. I can compare that to almost any sporting event I’ve been at. What continually strikes me is the new people that come into the building — NHL people and hockey people from all over different parts of North America. No matter what they’ve heard about the building, no matter how many positives they’ve heard, by the end of the hockey game they are still in disbelief about what they just witnessed. That’s due to the passion and excitement of our fans. Their loyalty is second to none.”
So while the NHL is locked out, you do have options. Here is the television is the National College HockeyTelevision Schedule for the next two weeks. If you have DiecTV and don’t have the sports pack, get it. Check your local cable television listings for the games and channels listed below.

Fri.Nov. 23 Minnesota at VermontFS North +7 p.m.TBD
Fri.Nov. 23 Colgate at MerrimackFOX College7:30 p.m.TBD
Sat.Nov. 24 Minnesota at VermontFS North7 p.m.668 / 436
Fri.Nov. 30 Boston College at Boston UniversityNBC Sports Net.7:30 pm603 / 159
Fri.Nov. 30 Ohio State at Michigan StateBTN8 p.m.610 / 439 (C)
Fri.Nov. 30 Vermont at MaineCBS Sports Net.8 p.m.613 / 158 (C)
Fri.Nov. 30 Nebraska-Omaha at MinnesotaFS North +8 p.m.TBD
Sat.Dec. 1 Boston University at Boston CollegeNBC Sports Net.7:30 p.m.603 / 159
Sat.Dec. 1 Nebraska-Omaha at MinnesotaFS North +8 p.m.TBD

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