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Big Ten/Hockey East Challenge Resumes October 10, Remains A Silly Thing Indeed

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Boston College's Black Friday game vs. Minnesota will be part of this year's Challenge.

Last Thursday, Hockey East and the Big Ten announced the return of the second Big Ten/Hockey East Challenge, which, as far as I can tell, is just a pithy label slapped on a majority of the HEA-B1G matchups in 2014-15. A total of nine Hockey East schools will join five Big Ten schools in a total of 20 games between October 10 and November 29.

As you no doubt remember, Hockey East won the inaugural challenge, 18-11.

Here's this season's Big Ten/Hockey East Challenge schedule:

Friday, October 10
Providence at Ohio State
UConn at Penn State

Saturday, October 11
Providence at Ohio State
UConn at Penn State (3:00 p.m.)

Friday, October 17
UNH at Michigan (7:30 p.m.)
UMass at Michigan State

Saturday, October 18
UNH at Michigan (7:30 p.m.)
UMass at Michigan State

Friday, October 24
Michigan at UMass Lowell (NESN)
Michigan State at Boston University (7:30 p.m.)

Saturday, October 25
Michigan at Boston University
Michigan State at UMass Lowell

Friday, November 7
Michigan State at UNH (7:30 p.m.)
Notre Dame at Minnesota (BTN, 8:00 p.m.)

Saturday, November 8
Michigan State at UNH (WBIN)

Sunday, November 9
Notre Dame at Minnesota (ESPNU, 5:00 p.m.)

Friday, November 14
Penn State at UMass Lowell (7:15 p.m.)

Saturday, November 15
Penn State at UMass Lowell

Friday, November 28
Minnesota at Boston College (6:00 p.m.)

Saturday, November 29
Minnesota at Northeastern

Interestingly, while Boston College faces three Big Ten teams this season--at Michigan State (11/14), Minnesota (11/28) and Michigan (12/13)--only one of those games will count towards this year's Challenge: BC's Black Friday home game against the Gophers.

Like I said last year, this is a great idea, but the execution leaves much to be desired. If both leagues want to work on improving this event--despite one league having twice as many members as the other ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ --it's probably going to take a concerted effort on the part of the leagues to make it happen. Get all programs involved, shorten the length of time and get more of these games on TV. Like the men's and women's basketball ACC/Big Ten Challenge, the Big Ten/Hockey East Challenge could be a fine way of raising the profile of the sport nationally. Just, you know, do better.

For what it's worth, the Big Ten is going to roll Hockey East this year. Call it 32-15 B1G with this thing over before the month is out.