On Monday, UConn men’s hockey released its full slate of home games for the 2022-23 season. While that didn’t include any information about where those contests will be played, head coach Mike Cavanaugh told The UConn Blog that the target date for the opening game at the new, on-campus arena is mid-January. Specifically, a matchup with Northeastern on Saturday, Jan. 14.
“We play Northeastern on Jan. 14. I can’t say 100 percent that we’re gonna play [on-campus] but I think we’d like to if the rink is open and we’re ready to play,” he said on Monday. “We’d like to play that game there.”
If all goes well with the construction over the next few months, UConn’s two hockey teams could move into the new facility by the new year — or even earlier. At the very least, they might get some practice time on the new ice before the calendar flips to 2023.
“We’re hoping Jan. 1 — maybe beforehand. I’m not sure,” Cavanaugh said about a move-in date. “I don’t think we will play a game until after January...there might be a chance we can move over our practice gear and whatnot earlier and be able to practice in there.”
Progress on the new arena is coming along on the inside and out. Glass above the main entrance along Jim Calhoun Way was recently installed, which means the building is almost completely enclosed now. Inside the walls, the team areas are starting to come together.
“I was in it last week and it’s really starting to take some definition of certain rooms and areas,” Cavanaugh said. “Now you know where the training room is, the weight room, our lounge and locker room space. You can really see how those are going to shape up.”
Out in the arena itself, the coach was pleasantly surprised by one of the design features along the concourse.
“I really love the brick that’s up on the concourse,” he said. “I didn’t realize how much it was going to stand out to me. I think it looks pretty cool.”
For now, the construction just needs to stay on schedule. According to Cavanaugh, there are no deadlines for completion that need to be met for the teams to move in or start playing games. Any decisions about the venue for contests can be made once the building is finished.