ASN’s first NCHC games set for Oct. 23 with Air Force at Omaha

Junior forward Austin Ortega of Omaha celebrates a goal against North Dakota last season. Omaha, North Dakota and the rest of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference will be broadcast on ASN this season. (Courtesy Mark Kuhlmann)

Add another league to the ASN portfolio.

Beginning this fall, ASN and the National Collegiate Hockey Conference will telecast at least eight college hockey games over the 2015-16 season.

The two-year deal also will include at least 10 games for the 2016-17 season. More games can be added each season based on the availability of NCHC games and ASN’s schedule. Friday, Oct. 23 will be the debut of the NCHC on ASN with the Air Force at Omaha game.

NCHC_pri_c“We are excited to work with ASN and the Sinclair Broadcast Group to deliver exciting hockey to fans across the country” said NCHC commissioner Josh Fenton. “The ability to more widely distribute great NCHC action to our passionate fan base remains a focus for our member institutions. This new partnership with American Sports Network allows us to continue building our television platform.”

The NCHC is coming off a banner season in 2014-15. Six of eight NCHC teams made the NCAA Tournament, a record for percentage of teams from one conference (75 percent), with two reaching the NCAA Frozen Four (Nebraska-Omaha and North Dakota). The NCHC drops the puck on its third season Oct. 3 with five exhibition games. All eight NCHC teams open the regular season Oct. 9-10.

Former WCHA members UNO, North Dakota, Colorado College, University of Denver, Minnesota-Duluth, St. Cloud State and former CCHA members Miami (Ohio) and Western Michigan comprise the eight-team NCHC, which formed in 2011. Four teams — North Dakota, Colorado College, Denver and Minnesota-Duluth — have won NCAA championships and Miami reached the 2009 title game.

This year’s ASN schedule:
Fri., Oct. 23, 2015                    Air Force at Omaha                                           8:37 p.m. ET
Fri., Dec. 4, 2015                      Miami at Colorado College                               9:07 p.m. ET
Sat., Dec. 12, 2015                   Colorado College at Western Michigan         7:07 p.m. ET
Fri., Jan. 15, 2016                     Western Michigan at Denver                          9:37 p.m. ET
Sat., Jan. 30, 2016                    North Dakota at Western Michigan                8:07 p.m. ET
Thurs., Feb. 18, 2016              Denver at Colorado College                            9:07 p.m. ET
Sat., Feb. 27, 2016                   North Dakota at Omaha                                    8:07 p.m. ET
Sat., Mar. 5, 2016                     St. Cloud State at Colorado College                8:37 p.m. ET


Above: Austin Ortega of Nebraska-Omaha celebrates a goal against North Dakota last season. UNO, North Dakota and the rest of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference will be broadcast on ASN this season. (Courtesy Mark Kuhlmann)