The Spartans will have two home games each against defending CCHA champions Notre Dame, Michigan, and Ohio State, in addition to the College Hockey Showcase games against Minnesota and Wisconsin. This year's cluster scheduling for the CCHA finds the Spartans paired with traditional rival Michigan, along with the Irish and Bowling Green.
"After a schedule that really did not favor us a year ago, we really like how our schedule looks for 2009-10," noted head coach Rick Comley.
"Last year, we spent long stretches on the road, and only had one home game against Michigan. I think the fans really like the Big Ten schools in our building, and this year, they will get eight games against our Big Ten opponents and Notre Dame at Munn. With another young team this year, we will benefit from this many home games."
A year ago, MSU played 16 of 21 games from Nov. 1 to Feb 1 away from Munn Ice Arena. This year's schedule is much more forgiving, with only two occasions with four straight road games, The Spartans, who will have the annual Green and White exhibition on Oct. 4 and an exhibition with Western Ontario on Oct. 5, will officially open the season with a series against Clarkson on Oct. 9-10. The squad then has a non-conference road series at Alfond Arena against the University of Maine (Oct. 16-17) and opens its CCHA slate at national runner-up Miami on Oct. 23-24.
The Spartans will then tangle with Western Michigan in a home-and-home series over Halloween weekend, and open November with MSU's final conference series against Nebraska-Omaha (Nov. 5-6), as the Mavericks will head to the WCHA for the 2010-11 season.
College hockey's fiercest rivalry adds another chapter with a home-and-home series with Michigan on Nov. 13-14. MSU will host Notre Dame on Nov. 20, then take on the Irish in Fort Wayne, Ind. on Nov. 22 in a matinee contest. The College Hockey Showcase follows over Thanksgiving weekend, with MSU playing host to the Badgers of Wisconsin on Friday and Minnesota on Saturday.
The Spartans have three straight road games to start December - a series at Northern Michigan on Dec. 4-5, and then on Dec. 11 at Bowling Green. The Falcons will play at Munn on Dec. 12 to wrap up the pre-holiday break schedule.
The Spartans return to action for the 45th annual Great Lakes Invitational (Dec. 29-30) where MSU will take on Michigan Tech in the first round for the right to play either Michigan or Rensselaer in the finals.
Michigan State will entertain the US National Team Development Program Under-18 team on Monday, Jan. 4 before jumping back into conference action the following weekend.
MSU kicks it off with a home series against Lake Superior (Jan. 8-9), then has a home-and-home with Notre Dame (Jan. 15-16). The Spartans will then host Ohio State (Jan. 22-23), and have its annual home-and-Joe series with Michigan: the teams will play at Munn on Friday evening (Jan. 29), then at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit on Saturday the 30th.
The Spartans will only compete three of the four weekends in February, starting with a pilgrimage to Alaska on Feb. 5-6. After a bye week, MSU will take on both Ferris State (Feb. 19-20) and Bowling Green (Feb. 26-27) in home-and-home series to conclude the regular season.
The CCHA Tournament begins on March 5 at campus sites, and culminates with the league's championship weekend March 19-20 in Detroit. The four NCAA regional sites are Albany, N.Y., St. Paul, Minn., Fort Wayne, Ind. and Worcester, Mass., and will be contested March 26-28; regional winners will advance to the Frozen Four at Ford Field in Detroit (April 8-10).
Michigan State welcomes 10 newcomers this fall who will join the Spartan roster, which will boast 20 first- and second-year players.