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Boston College Hockey To Play in 2016 IceBreaker Tournament

The Eagles will open up the 2016-2017 season in Denver

Elsa/Getty Images

It's never too early to start planning for 2016-2017, right? With the schedule far from finalized for this coming year, Boston College dropped a big piece of scheduling news for the following season yesterday, confirming that BC will appear in next year's IceBreaker tournament, to be hosted by the University of Denver at Magness Arena on October 7-8, 2016. Their presence had been long-rumored but not officially announced until yesterday.Joining BC and Denver in the season-opening classic will be Ohio State and Air Force.

BC's streak of playing Denver pretty much every year will remain intact, which is fine by me. The Pioneers will be coming to Conte this October fort heir first trip to BC since the 2011-2012 home opener. Last year, the Eagles traveled to Denver for a two-game road set on Halloween weekend. Of course, BC and Denver have collided in the past two NCAA tournaments as well. Clearly the two programs have a longstanding relationship, which carried over to BC's participation in the IceBreaker. Air Force is a team BC has run in to in the past in mid-season tournaments, but it's been a long time since BC has played Ohio State.

You may recall that the Eagles played in the 2011 IceBreaker, which was hosted by North Dakota. BC beat Michigan State and NoDak in their opening salvo of what became a very successful season. Let's hope for similar results next year.

The IceBreaker, which will celebrate its 20th anniversary next year, is traditionally a curtain-opening event for the season pitting teams from four different conferences against one another. It used to stand alone as one of the only competitive, non-exhibition games on the first weekend of the season, but in recent years many games happen on the same weekend as the tournament. Still, it's a fun tradition, and one it will be enjoyable to see BC participate in again next year.