Jase Paciocco celebrates a goal against Western Michigan. (Brianna Frisch/MJ).
Jase Paciocco celebrates a goal against Western Michigan. (Brianna Frisch/MJ).
Jase Paciocco celebrates a goal against Western Michigan. (Brianna Frisch/MJ).

By JOSH PAULISIN, Guest Writer

With the hockey world buzzing over the NHL schedule and free agency frenzy, the season seems right around the corner.

For the University of Michigan-Dearborn men’s hockey team, they now know who they’ll meet when the puck is dropped.

The school announced the 2014-2015 regular season schedule earlier this week. The Wolverines will open the season with a pair of home games against non-conference opponent Indiana Tech on Sept. 12 and 13.

A few other notable non-conference foes include Pittsburgh, Robert Morris, Illinois, Buffalo and John Carroll.

For UM-Dearborn senior Jeremy Klotz, the chance to play against tough non-conference teams will be a great opportunity for the Wolverines.

“The trip to Illinois will be one to remember for sure,” Klotz said. “Also the rematch with Robert Morris from two seasons ago will be a great opportunity.”

The Wolverines, then known as the “Wolves,” traveled to Bensenville, IL., to take on the Eagles during the 2012-2013 season. UM-Dearborn dropped both games on the road trip.

Robert Morris will make the trip north to Dearborn for games on Nov. 7 and 8.

Right before Robert Morris comes to town, the Wolverines will face-off against Adrian College four times in October as they look to avenge last year’s GLCHL semi-final loss to the Bulldogs. UM-Dearborn will host Adrian at the Fieldhouse on Oct. 10 and 31. The team will then travel to Adrian for games on Oct. 11 and 30.

The Great Lakes Showcase will once again be played over Thanksgiving Break with the tournament spanning from Nov. 28-30.

With plenty of highly anticipated games ahead, there should be at least one date circled on everyone’s calendar.

On Jan. 3, UM-Dearborn will meet Oakland University for an outdoor game at Clark Park in Detroit. The Wolverines were scheduled to meet the Grizzlies at Clark Park last season, but the game was cancelled due to poor ice conditions.

It will be a memorable day for Klotz and his teammates.

“Playing outdoors is something that you grow up dreaming about, especially with the Winter Classic,” he said. “It will be a special day for the whole team.”

UM-Dearborn will conclude its season with a home-and-home series against Eastern Michigan on Feb. 13 and 14. The Wolverines knocked the Eagles out of last season’s GLCHL Playoffs.

Despite a tough schedule, Klotz believes that the Wolverines can make it a successful season.

“I’m excited,” he said. “It’s a challenging schedule but I feel that we can put together a good record.”

UM-Dearborn will be looking to build off last season’s 20-22 campaign when practice begins in early August.