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Hockey East Releases 2011-12 Schedule, Fenway Games Still Likely

Hockey East, which has been in talks with the Fenway Sports Group about using the near-century old venue to host games next season, has released its schedule for the 2011-12 men's hockey season.

The schedule features the usual slate of in-conference games, two of which may be played at Fenway on January 7th, 2012 if the league is able to secure the funding that it needs in order to pay for the venue. In 2010, Fenway hosted a game between archrivals Boston College and Boston University that sold out the building just a few days after the Boston Bruins defeated the Philadelphia Flyers in overtime in the NHL's annual Winter Classic.

That the Bruins hosted the game took care of the funding for use of Fenway, which, not surprisingly, takes a pretty penny to rent out.

Without help from the Bruins and the NHL, it's questionable if Hockey East can pony up the funds for the games, which are slated to feature the University of New Hampshire taking on archrival Maine and Vermont facing off with UMass.

Other noteworthy dates from the schedule:

  • BU and BC face off on November 13th and December 2nd at Conte Forum and December 3rd at Agganis Arena
  • The conference season starts with Merrimack visiting Maine and UMass at Northeastern on October 7th
  • The first full-tilt conference matchup weekend is the final weekend of October, with all ten teams in conference action on Saturday, October 29th
  • Defending national champion Minnesota-Duluth visits Providence for two games on October 21st and 22nd
  • The Beanpot is Monday, February 6th, with the finals on Monday, February 13th. BU opens with Harvard and Northeastern plays Boston College in a rematch of last season's title game.