ORONO, Maine — The University of Maine has moved the men’s ice hockey game against UMass Lowell, originally scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 7 to Sunday, Dec.8.
The game will start at 4 p.m. at Alfond Arena.
The schedule has been changed because Maine is hosting an NCAA second-round Football Championship Subdivision playoff game against either Lafayette or New Hampshire at 2 p.m. Dec. 7, at Alfond Stadium.
It is the first time Maine has ever hosted a football playoff game and University of Maine interim athletic director Seth Woodcock said “we wanted to put our best foot forward.”
The hockey game had been scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. start.
“We wanted to provide the best experience we could for our student-athletes and fans,” explained Woodcock.
There are still other details to work out, he pointed out.
The Maine women’s ice hockey team is supposed to play Brown University at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7 in the second game of a two-game series after playing on Friday night at 6.
The locker rooms for opposing football teams are in the Alfond Arena.
“The locker room situation is a big deal,” said Woodcock.
There is a Skate with the Bears scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 8 and that is likely to get changed.
The Skate with the Bears involves members of the men’s and women’s ice hockey teams skating with people from the community and signing autographs.
The Maine-UMass Lowell game was scheduled to be aired by WVII-Channel 7/Fox College Sports on Saturday night and it hasn’t been established yet whether the Sunday game will be televised.
“Learfield (Sports) is still working on that,” said Woodcock, referring to the company that handles Maine’s TV and radio coverage.
Woodcock said UMaine had hoped to move the men’s hockey game back to Friday “but Lowell had a short week. They have a game on Tuesday (Dec. 3 vs. American International College). That would have been tough on them.”
He said Sunday hockey games “haven’t been great days attendance-wise” but he appealed to the fans to show up for the game.
He said the 4 p.m. start won’t conflict with the New England Patriots game against the Cleveland Browns. That is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.
Maine hockey coach Red Gendron said moving the hockey game to accommodate football “makes sense to me.
“That’s what’s best for our fans. It makes it easier on them. We want to help out the football team. Saturday is their day and we play the next day. I think it’s great,” said Gendron.