STORRS, Conn. -- The UConn women's hockey team has announced a 34-game regular season schedule for the 2015-16 campaign. The Huskies under third-year head coach Chris MacKenzie will play 24 Hockey East contests and 15 home games at the Freitas Ice Forum in the upcoming season.
"Every year in Hockey East is a battle and this season will be no different," said MacKenzie. "We have also added some exciting new teams to our non-conference schedule," the 2015 Hockey East Coach of the Year finalist added.
For the first time since 2010-11, the Huskies will open the regular season with a league match-up as the WHEA expands to nine members with the addition of Merrimack for the '15-16 season. Following an exhibition on Sept. 26 against the Whitby Wolves, UConn travels to defending WHEA Tournament champion Boston University to open the regular season on Oct. 2. The Huskies play their first home game the next night, welcoming Union to Storrs on Oct. 3.
After an early-season bye weekend, UConn stays home to host Syracuse on Oct. 17 and Colgate on Oct. 18. The Huskies then venture to "Hockey Valley" to take on Penn State on Oct. 24 and 25, marking the first two meetings between the two programs. Connecticut jumps back into conference play over Halloween weekend, skating in a home-and-home series with defending WHEA regular season champs Boston College in Chestnut Hill on Oct. 30 and Storrs on Oct. 31.
UConn hosts Merrimack for the Warriors' first trip to Freitas Ice Forum on Nov. 7 before it welcomes New Hampshire on Nov. 8. The Huskies visit 2014 national champion Clarkson for two in Potsdam, N.Y. on Nov. 13 and 14, then host Vermont on Nov. 20 and visit Maine on Nov. 22.
The 2015 Nutmeg Classic will be held at Yale on Nov. 27 and 28 and features UConn, Merrimack, Quinnipiac and Yale. The Huskies play QU in the first round before taking on either MC or Yale in the third place game or title match-up. UConn then closes its winter semester with a home-and-home against Boston University on Dec. 5 and 6.
Following a 30-day break, UConn begins 2016 with a battle of the Huskies at Northeastern on Jan. 5. The month of January continues with home-and-home series against Merrimack (Jan. 9-10), Providence (Jan. 16-17) and Northeastern (Jan. 22-23) before the Huskies conclude non-conference action by hosting Princeton on Jan. 25. UConn then rounds out the month with two contests at Vermont on Jan. 29 and 30.
February opens with four-straight at home, rounding out the Freitas slate with Boston College and Providence on Feb. 6 and 7 before Maine visits for two on Feb. 12 and 13. The regular season concludes in Durham, N.H., with UConn traveling to UNH on Feb. 20 and 21. The 2015 Women's Hockey East Championship begins with a quarterfinal series at campus sites beginning Feb. 26 before the Semifinal and Championship rounds in early March. The top eight teams in the final league standings will qualify for the tournament.
UConn went 11-18-8 in 2014-15, making its first appearance in the WHEA Semifinals since 2010 after sweeping a quarterfinal series at Maine. The Huskies return 19 letterwinners for the '15-16 season, including two-time WHEA Honorable Mention All Star Elaine Chuli (Windsor, Ontario) and 2015 All-Rookie team member Leah Lum (Richmond, British Columbia).