MANCHESTER, N.H. – Head coach Kerstin Matthews and the Saint Anselm College women's hockey program released the Hawks' 27-game schedule for the upcoming 2017-18 season on Friday.
The 27-game slate, which is the largest regular-season schedule in program history, includes 14 games at Sullivan Arena, where the Hawks are 44-4-2 over the last four seasons, and 13 games away from home. Saint Anselm will face Holy Cross, Sacred Heart, Franklin Pierce, Saint Michael's and Post four times apiece, in addition to seven non-conference contests against teams from around New England. The non-conference games are highlighted by four games against New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) opposition.
"We have worked very hard to solidify a competitive schedule for the 2017-18 season," said head coach Kerstin Matthews. "I look forward to continuing where we left off from the 2016-17 campaign."
The Hawks open their 2017-18 campaign with a weekend series at Sacred Heart on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 20-21, followed by a trip to UMass Boston to end the month. Saint Anselm blanked the No. 10-ranked Beacons 4-0 last season on Nov. 4 before UMass Boston went on to finish 19-8 overall.
Saint Anselm's home opener is a Friday, Nov. 3 matchup with Franklin Pierce as part of a home-and-home weekend series. Later in the month, Saint Anselm makes its first-ever trip to Post on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 10-11 prior to hosting Saint Michael's for a weekend series to close the month.
In December, the Hawks play three home games in a seven-day stretch from Dec. 2-8, as NESCAC foes Bowdoin and Colby visit Sullivan Arena prior to a showdown with Holy Cross. Saint Anselm was 3-1-2 against teams from the NESCAC last season. The Friday, Dec. 8 matchup with Holy Cross is the first of four games between the Crusaders and Hawks, who have met for the New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) Open title in seven of the last eight seasons.
Saint Anselm starts the 2018 calendar year with a four-game week, as the Hawks travel to Connecticut College and Manhattanville on Tuesday and Wednesday, Jan. 9-10 prior to games against Plymouth State and at Holy Cross on the weekend. Series against Franklin Pierce and Post are sandwiched around a home contest against Williams to wrap up a nine-game month of January.
The Hawks have three weekend series on the schedule in February. Saint Anselm will travel to Saint Michael's and host Sacred Heart on the first two weekends of the month, before concluding its regular-season slate with a home-and-home series against Holy Cross.
Saint Anselm, Holy Cross, Sacred Heart, Franklin Pierce, Saint Michael's and Post will compete in a postseason tournament on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 24-25 with Franklin Pierce serving as the host.
The Hawks graduated eight members of last season's team that finished 22-2-3 overall for the program's ninth 20-win season in 13 seasons. Saint Anselm went 15-1-1 to win the NEHC regular-season title and defeated Holy Cross 3-2 in overtime to claim its seventh NEHC Open title. The Hawks finished the season on a 14-game unbeaten streak and the team's 132 goals in 2016-17 were the second-most in program history.