For the first time in fifteen years, both Michigan Tech and Northern Michigan are in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. Instead of their usual two meetings a season, Tech and Northern will now meet four times a season.
The Huskies and Wildcats split their two game series last season, with each team winning at home. The first meeting between the U.P. and conference rivals is this Friday, Oct. 25 in Marquette. The second meeting will be Saturday, Oct. 26 in Houghton.
With both teams now in the same conference, there is more than just pride on the line from here on out.
“Just to be able to have your greatest rival in your opening weekend in a new conference is really exciting,” said Wildcats head coach Walt Kyle. “With the new shakeup in college hockey, I think that everyone is really placing more emphasis and greater significance on what you do in your league.”
“We’ve been anxious to get started in the league schedule. I’m sure they (Michigan Tech) are the same way, and we are looking forward to the opportunity,” added Kyle.
“I’ve never played a home and home series yet, but both teams travel well when we play each other,” said Wildcats forward Jake Johnson. “Their fans will come here (Marquette) and our fans will go there (Houghton), so it will be a great experience.”
“There’s a lot of rich history between the two schools. We don’t really like them and they don’t really like us,” said Wildcats defenseman Wade Epp. “It’s always easy to get up for these kind of games, so it should be a good weekend.”
Puck drop for both nights is at 7:07 p.m.