Story and Photo By: Matthew Wiernasz
SPRINGFIELD, MA- The AIC Yellow Jackets will return to the ice for the 2022-23 season at the MassMutual Center. The Yellow Jackets will be looking for their fifth Atlantic Hockey Association Conference title.
The team will start their 2022-23 season in Alaska on Saturday, October 1, and Sunday, October 2 as they will go against Alaska Fairbanks. The home opener for the Yellow Jackets will be on Saturday, October 8 against the UMass Minutemen for a drop of the puck at 7:05 p.m. The team will to travel to Niagara for a weekend series on Friday, October 14 and Saturday, October 15. They will return back to the MassMutual Center for three games in a row as they will take on Holy Cross on Tuesday, October 18 and then Lindenwood Unviersity will come to Springfield for a weekend series against Lindenwood University on Saturday, October 22 and Sunday, October 23. They will wrap up the month of October as they will travel to Army West Point on Friday, October 28.
The Yellow Jackets will be on home ice for a lot of the month of November at the MassMutual Center. RIT will be town for a weekend series on Saturday November 5, and Sunday, November 6. The Yellow Jackets will have a weekend series against Canisus on the road in Buffalo on Friday, November 11 and Saturday, November 12. The Yellow Jackets return to the MassMutual Center for three games in a row as they will take on Holy Cross University on Tuesday, November 15 and then a weekend series against Air Force Academy on Saturday, November 19 and Sunday, November 20. The Yellow Jackets will wrap up the month of November against the University of Maine on the road on Saturday, November 26.
They will start off the month of December with a home-and-home series against Bentley University on Thursday, December 1 at the MassMutual Center and then travel to Waltham to take on Bentley on Friday, Decmeber 2.
They will host Niagara University for a pair of games on Thursday, December 8, and Friday, December 9 at the MassMutual Center. The Yellow Jackets will close out 2022 as they will travel to take Cornell University on Thursday, December 29, and Friday, December 30.
The Yellow Jackets will start off 2023 as they will take on UMass-Lowell on Saturday, January 7 at the MassMutual Center. The Yellow Jackets will have a four-game road trip that will begin against Vermont on Saturday, January 14 and then on Tuesday, January 17 against Army West Point. They will close out the road trip against Mercyhurst University on Friday, January 20, and Saturday, January 21.
The Yellow Jackets will start off the month of February will a home-and-home series against Sacred Heart University on Thursday, February 2 at the MassMutual Center and then on Saturday, February 4 in Fairfield. They will also have another home-and-home series against Bentley University on Wednesday, February 8 at the MassMutual Center and then on Friday, February 10 in Waltham. They will travel to Air Force Academy to play on Friday, February 17 and Saturday, February 18
The final home game of the 2022-23 season will be a home-and-home series against Sacred Heart University on Friday, February 24 at the MassMutual Center and then wrap up the regular season in Fairfield on Saturday, February 25.
There will be a new format for the Atlantic Hockey Association tournament for 2023. The top eight teams will make it into the tournament. The best of three quarterfinal series will take place Friday, March 3 through Sunday, March 5 as Number 1, 2, 3, and 4 seeds will host Number 8, 7, 6, 5, seeds
The semifinals will be held on the following weekend on Friday, March 10 through Sunday, March 12. It will be a best of three series as the highest-seeded quarterfinal team will host the lowest-seeded quarterfinal team and the second-highest seed will host the third highest remaining seed. .
The Atlantic Hockey Association championship game will be held on Saturday, March 18 as the two semifinals winners will go head to head as the highest-seed of the conference will host the championship game.
There has been some changes during the offseason as Associate Head Coach Cory Schneider will be at Clarkson University as an Assistant Coach. Brendan Riley was the named the Assistant Coach last month for the Yellow Jackets. Riley is no stranger to hockey as his family is part of the hockey community. Brendan’s father Jack is the Head Coach of Army West Point. Riley joined the Yellow Jackets before the start of the 2021-22 season as Director of Hockey Operations.