Seventeen home games plus trips to Alaska and Minnesota highlight the 2012-13 Canisius College hockey schedule, announced by head coach Dave Smith on Monday.
"We are really excited about our schedule," Smith said. "We are playing quality schools out of conference, which includes home series against two teams with a lot of tradition in a former national champion in Bowling Green plus Clarkson. It is great to host these teams in Buffalo. Our players will be tested in every game and will have the opportunity to represent Canisius College and our conference against some of the best Division I hockey programs in the country.
"Our conference schedule is always tough and this year is no different. Our conference champion is always well prepared for the NCAA Tournament."
The Griffs open the 2012-13 campaign on Oct. 12, playing at Alaska Anchorage before meeting Alaska-Fairbanks on Oct. 13 in Anchorage. The trip to Alaska marks the third time that Canisius makes the venture up north. The Griffs complied a 0-5-1 record in trips during the 1988-89 and 2004-05 seasons.
Canisius then remains on the road for a pair of non-conference games at Western Michigan on Oct. 19 and 20. The schools opened the 2010-11 season against each other, splitting two contests in Kalamazoo.
The Griffs then take a quick break from the non-conference season for their home opener against defending Atlantic Hockey champion Air Force on Oct. 25. Canisius then plays at perennial-power Minnesota for the first time in the program's history on Oct. 28 before hosting ECAC foe Clarkson on Nov. 3 and 4. The Griffs earned 3-of-4 points against the Golden Knights in the schools' only meeting during the 2008-09 campaign.
Canisius also squares off with Bowling Green in non-league action. The Griffs host the CCHA school for a pair of games on Jan. 5 and 6.
Overall, the Griffs play 27 games against Atlantic Hockey foes. Canisius meets each team from the western division - Air Force, Mercyhurst, Niagara, RIT and Robert Morris - three times, while playing each team from the eastern division twice. The Griffs host AIC, Army and Holy Cross for two games, while traveling to face Bentley, Connecticut and Sacred Heart.
The Atlantic Hockey Tournament begins on March 8, with the first round and the quarterfinals both being best 2-of-3 series at campus sites. The four advancing teams will meet on March 22 and 23 in Rochester, N.Y. to determine the league's champion.
The Griffs return 23 letterwinners from the 2009-10 season, including 93.6 percent of their scoring.