"Obviously we are excited to jump into another season in the WCHA," said Sertich. "The good news is that the schedule is loaded with tough talented teams and the bad news is that the schedule is loaded with tough, talented teams," added the coach added with a chuckle.
The Beavers open the season with six non-conference contests. They break the seal on 2008-09 at the Glas with an exhibition versus University of Manitoba Sept. 26 and host Team USA the following afternoon.
BSU then jumps into regular-season play October 3-4 with a trip to Detroit to battle a Wayne State University, a school that finished the 2007-08 slate ranked in the top 10 of most major polls. Then it is back to the Glas for a two-game series versus Northeastern (Oct. 10-11).
"We think our non-conference schedule is going to be pretty exciting," said Sertich. "We will play a great team in Wayne State on their home ice in Detroit, have an up-and-coming Northeastern team under the guidance of a new coach here and also have Team USA coming in which will be a great experience for our student-athletes to play against players of the the caliber of Natalie Darwitz and Jenny Potter."
October 17-18 the Beavers open WCHA play with a two-game series versus Wisconsin. The first game of the double-dip is slated for a matinee at the Glas while the following night the teams travel to Eveleth, Minn. to battle in the US Hockey Hall of Fame Game.
The BSU conference schedule is arguably one of the toughest in the country and in 2008-09, for the eighth consecutive season, the Beavers will go head to head with the defending national champion on four occasions. This season the team opens up regular-season and Western Collegiate Hockey Association play by hosting Minnesota State University Oct. 5-6.
The Hall of Fame Game kicks off a streak of 14 consecutive league games. BSU hits the road for a pair of games at The Ohio State University (Oct. 24-25) followed by a trip to Minnesota State University the following weekend (Oct. 31-Nov. 1). After a week off, it is back home to host University of Minnesota for a two-game set (Nov. 14-15) before heading back out for a four-game road trip to St. Cloud State University (Nov. 21-22) and to Duluth, Minn. to battle the defending champion Bulldogs of Minnesota Duluth (Dec. 5-6). The Beavers cap the extended WCHA-stint with a home series versus University of North Dakota (Dec. 12-13).
Sertich commented about WCHA Play, "I think Minnesota, Wisconsin and UMD are still the big three in our league, but all of the other teams are improved dramatically too, which make for an increasingly tough schedule."
Bemidji State will then break from competition for three weeks to accommodate the semester break. It returns to action Jan. 2-3 with a trip to Pittsburgh, PA. to play at Robert Morris University in the teams' last non-conference tilts of the season.
The Beavers begin their second swing through the WCHA slate Jan. 9-10 by hosting Minnesota State for a pair at the Glas (Jan. 16-17) before welcoming Ohio State to Bemidji (Jan. 23-24).
After a trip west on highway 2 for a two-game set versus the Fighting Sioux at Ralph Engelstad Arena Jan. 30-31, the Beavers host Minnesota Duluth and St. Cloud State on back-to-back weekends in the team's longest conference homestand of 2008-09. The Bulldogs come to town Feb. 6-7 while SCSU drops in for a date with the Beavers over Valentine's weekend.
The Beavers wrap up regular-season
play at Wisconsin Feb. 20-21 with the first round of the WCHA Final
Face slated for Feb. 27-28.
Bemidji State University, located in Bemidji, Minn., houses a 17-sport athletic department. Its men's and women's hockey programs compete at the NCAA Division I level. The BSU women's ice hockey team is a member of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA).