I have the Big Ten hockey schedule for the inaugural season which begins in the fall. And it appears someone has finally figured out when the season draws the most interest. Don't get me wrong, college hockey begins as usual in October-- but the 20 league games each of the six teams will play don't get going in earnest until after football ends.
I am forever railing about the fact that few fans follow college hockey during football season, hence the games are played before thousands of empty seats. In the inaugural Big Ten schedule, Michigan State's first Big Ten game does not get played until Friday, December 6th against Minnesota, the first of a two game series. Each team plays each other team home and away for two games each series.
All of the teams are in the Big Ten tournament which runs March 20-22 in St. Paul, Minnesota. The Spartans spend most of January and February and into the middle of March playing regular season league games. I'll bet attendance is good, because that's when hockey season is for most fans-- snow is on the ground! MSU should have a good non conference home schedule and there will be build up to the start of the Big Ten games so it appears to me this coming schedule will be far more strategically crafted than those I've seen in years past.