While we wait for the NHL to figure their situation out, college hockey’s season is under way and with it so is NBCSN’s coverage beginning with tonight’s Icebreaker Tournament in Kansas City featuring Notre Dame, Maine, Nebraska-Omaha, and Army.
(No. 13) Notre Dame vs. Maine — (7:05 p.m. ET)
The Fighting Irish kick off their season against the Black Bears with Maine coming in already with a blemish on their record thanks to a 2-1 loss to Quinnipiac last week.
Notre Dame comes in with a pair of highly talented forwards in Islanders prospect Anders Lee and Blue Jackets hopeful future star T.J. Tynan. Those two spearheaded the attack for the Irish last season and you can expect them to be even more daunting for teams to cover this year.
Notre Dame also brings in a pair of big time freshmen in 2012 draft picks Mario Lucia (Wild) and Thomas DiPauli (Capitals). Maine might have trouble containing everyone.
Meanwhile, the Black Bears have one of the better players in the country in forward Joey Diamond. He was a Hobey Baker finalist last season and if Maine is going to make a push this season, he’ll need to be at the forefront. He’ll get some big help from senior forwards Adam Shemansky and Kyle Beattie.
Nebraska-Omaha vs. Army (10:05 p.m. ET)
UNO head coach Dean Blais is one of the most respected figures in the game and he’ll hope he can have his team get off to the right start against a struggling Army program.
Blais will have a staunch defense to lead the way but scoring goals will be the trick for them. Forwards Matt White, Josh Archibald, Ryan Walters, and Brock Montpetit will have to carry the load there. Things are a bit crowded in goal for the Mavericks as they’ll rely on John Faulkner and Dayn Belfour to do most of the work. Flyers 2012 draft pick Anthony Stolarz is there too.
As for Army, it’s looking like tough sledding for them.
After winning just four games last year, they come into the season with 13 new players after graduating 12 over the summer. You won’t find any NHL prospects at Army, but what you will get is a team that doesn’t give up on games or wear down. If UNO isn’t careful, Army could surprise them.