WNE men's hockey releases 2012-13 schedule

Aug. 6, 2012
SPRINGFIELD — Western New England University men's ice hockey coach Greg Heffernan recently announced the Golden Bears' 2012-13 schedule, which is highlighted by 13 home dates on the 25-game slate.

Western New England drops the puck on the program's 33rd season Oct. 29 against NCAA Division II opponent Stonehill College in North Easton.

The Golden Bears will have their home opener on Nov. 2 when they take on Westfield State University in the annual Falcon Cup at the 6,866-seat MassMutual Center.

Worcester State University, another non-league opponent out of the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference, will invade Smead Arena for Western New England's first game at its primary home facility.

The Eastern College Athletic Conference Northeast docket starts Nov. 10 for the Golden Bears at defending champion Wentworth Institute of Technology, which advanced to the second round of the NCAA Division III Tournament. The ECAC Northeast home opener will be in the form of Curry College five days later.

Western New England starts the 2013 calendar with a five-game homestand that includes non-conference foes Skidmore College (Jan. 8), SUNY Potsdam (Jan. 11), Utica College (Jan. 13) and Assumption College (Jan. 15).

Another feature of the schedule includes a Dec. 7 meeting against Nazareth College, which is a first-year program at the NCAA level.

The regular season schedule concludes on Feb. 16, 2013 at Nichols College in an ECAC Northeast matchup.

Details about the 2013 ECAC Northeast Championship Tournament will be announced at a later date. The conference champion earns an automatic berth into the NCAAs.

Western New England had a breakthrough season in 2011-12 after recording the program's best record — at 14-12-1 overall — in 18 years. The program is expecting to build on that success with a projected 22 returnees this season, including the team's top six point-scorers. WNE recorded an 8-5-1 ECAC Northeast mark for fourth place, reaching the tournament semifinals.

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