The AUS has released the 2016-2017 men's hockey schedule with the 30 game regular season kicking off on Wednesday, October 5th.
We will have a more in-depth look at the V-Reds schedule in the coming weeks, but here are some general highlights:
- The only game on opening night features the UPEI Panthers visiting Moncton.
- UNB will raise their 6th National Championship banner to the rafters in their home - and season - opener on Friday, October 7th against Moncton.
- The V-Reds will play 18 games (9 home, 9 away) before Christmas and 12 (6 home, 6 away) after the break.
- UNB will play every team 5 times. They will get the extra home game against Acadia, Saint Mary's, and UPEI this year while playing an extra road game against St. FX, Dalhousie, and Moncton. It will be reversed next season.
- The season ends on Saturday, February 11th.
- The playoffs remain unchanged with a best-of-three quarterfinals, best-of-five semi-finals, and best-of-three final round.
- The AUS will once again be guaranteed three berths at the University Cup, which will be hosted by UNB from March 16th-19th.
The AUS has also confirmed three important changes that will have an impact on every team moving forward, especially UNB:
- Perhaps the biggest change is that to off-set the longer regular season teams can now only play a maximum of 6 exhibition games. UNB has played more than 6 exhibition games every season since 2003/2004, with many of those years featuring 10+ games.
- All exhibition games must be held either before the season begins or over the Christmas break. Last season UNB played Maine and Harvard in late October during a week off from AUS regular season competition. This will no longer be allowed.
- The first day an exhibition game can be scheduled is fourteen days after Labour Day. This season that will fall on Monday, September 19th. This isn't a huge change as the V-Reds have played their first exhibition game between September 15th and 19th every season since 2007-2008.