has released the 2011-12 ice hockey schedule.  Michigan will play 19 home games, 13 of which are in the first half of the season (15 if you include exhibition games).

The non-conference games are Niagara (one game), Bentley (2x), St. Lawrence (one game), Northeastern and Union on what was the former College Hockey Showcase weekend after Thanksgiving, and Boston College at the Great Lakes Invitational and possibly Michigan Tech pending the outcome.

Michael Spath at The Wolverine says Michigan was “smart” about their scheduling this season knowing they are lacking offensively going in to the season and need to give kids time to develop.  By “smart” he means the lack of any high-end non-conference opponents.  On paper it’s not the strongest non-conference schedule and it’s disappointing to see a lack of any games against WCHA teams unless it’s Michigan Tech at the GLI.