USA Hockey announces 2015-16 schedules for U17, U18 NTDP squads


By @StefanKubus –

USA Hockey announced the 2015-16 schedule for the National Team Development Program’s Under-17 and Under-18 teams Thursday afternoon.

The 2015-16 campaign marks the NTDP’s first at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth after being based in Ann Arbor since the program’s 1996 inception.

The Under-18 Team will host the USHL’s Chicago Steel Oct. 9, marking the historic first game at USA Hockey Arena. Just two days later, the U18 club will host the University of Notre Dame. Prior to that, the team will begin the preseason in Green Bay, Wisconsin, facing off against the Muskegon Lumberjacks Sept. 12 and Cedar Rapids Roughriders Sept. 13.

The U18s will play a full slate of college hockey contests, as well. On Oct. 3, they will play Northern Michigan in Marquette, and then travel to Lake Superior State for a game the next night. On Oct. 11, they welcome Notre Dame to USA Hockey Arena. Another notable home contest will take place on Nov. 25, when the U18s play Adrian College.

Road contests for the U18s include Boston University, Dartmouth, Princeton, Minnesota Duluth and North Dakota. They will play Michigan and Michigan State over the span of three days, taking on the Wolverines at Yost on Jan. 21, and then Michigan State at Munn on Jan. 23. Those times are yet to be determined.

Additionally, the U18 club will compete in the 2015 Four Nations Tournament, from Nov. 3-8 in Switzerland and the 2016 Five Nations Tournament from Feb. 9-14 in Finland.

Like the U18 team, the Under-17 Team will also open the preseason on the road in Green Bay Sept. 12-13, taking on the USHL’s Bloomington Thunder and Madison Capitals. Regular-season play begins on the road in against the Chicago Steel Sept. 26. Their home opener in Plymouth will take place Oct. 16 against Madison.

In tournament play, the U17 team will participate in the 2015 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Dawson Creek and Fort St. John, British Columbia, from Oct. 30-Nov. 7, along with the 2015 Four Nations Tournament Dec. 15-20 in Slovakia. The team will also compete in the 2016 Five Nations Tournament, a tournament it will host in Plymouth Feb. 9-14.

Both teams will see their fair share of Muskegon this season.

The U17 team will face them a total of eight times, beginning with preseason action at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on Sept. 19 before heading to Muskegon’s LC Walker Arena Oct. 3 for a regular season tilt. The U17s will head to Muskegon once more Dec. 5 before finally hosting the Jacks at USA Hockey Arena on Dec. 30. In January, the teams will square off twice, in Plymouth on Jan. 15 and in Muskegon on Jan. 18. They will host the Jacks once more on Feb. 21 before closing out the season series in Muskegon on March 26.

Meanwhile, the U18s will oppose the Lumberjacks just three times in 2015-16, opening the season against them at the Resch Center in Wisconsin, and finishing the season against them March 31 at home in Plymouth. The only other time the two clubs will meet is Sept. 18 in Pittsburgh.

For the complete U17 schedule, click here, and for the complete U18 schedule, click here.