Monday, December 16, 2013

Mining Gazette: Scheduling still a struggle for Wildcats in new college hockey landscape

Here’s an interesting article that I found in the Mining Journal. Personally, I really enjoyed the Non-conference matchup between the two teams. Historically, there were some good matchups between the two teams, when they played in the same conference.
Matt Wellens, Mining Gazette, Les Wong was NMU's president at the time and having previously been employed as a vice president at Valley City State University in North Dakota, Wong was interested in the Wildcats playing the team then known as the Fighting Sioux, so Kyle set up the deal.

"We've always wanted to play the bulk of our nonconference against the old WCHA schools because our fans would like that," Kyle said. "I think it's great when we get a chance to do that.

"(UND) is a great opponent. They are always perennially good year in and year out. It's a great environment every year."

Kyle hopes this weekend's one-way trip to North Dakota will spark a scheduling relationship that eventually leads to UND playing a series in Marquette. The two schools haven't played each other anywhere since NMU originally left the WCHA after the 1996-97 season.

But Kyle wants to avoid two-for-one deals that would involve, for example, two series played in Grand Forks and one in Marquette over three seasons.
Obviously, the coaching staff has to do what’s best for the team, and make their schedule based on what they think is best for the team in the long run. With the NCHC having eight-teams, there’s an opportunity for them to play a lot of non-conference matchups.... But I would love to see UND play the Northern Michigan Wildcats in the future going forward. NMU plays a brand of hockey that’s fun to watch.

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