The NBC Sports Group will drop the puck on college hockey coverage for the first time on New Year's Eve.
National cable service Versus, which will be rebranded NBC Sports Network on Jan. 2, will air 16 live college hockey games, including four from the Hockey East Tournament.
Complementing NBC Sports Group's exclusive rights with the National Hockey League, the college pucks coverage begins on Dec. 31, when No. 4 Notre Dame hosts No. 12 Boston University at 7 p.m. (ET). The remainder of the schedule showcases a Friday primetime affair, starting in January. Coverage culminates with live action from Hockey East Tournament with a quarterfinal game on March 9, as well as both semifinals and the final on March 16 and 17, 2012, respectively, from TD Garden in Boston.
"We are excited to be launching our first-ever college hockey package by building a destination on Friday nights on the NBC Sports Network with many of the preeminent brands in the sport," said Jon Miller, president of programming for NBC Sports Group, of the property, the culmination of negotiations with conferences and universities.
NBC Sports Network's College Hockey Schedule (all times ET, subject to change):
Saturday, Dec. 31 #12 Boston University at #4 Notre Dame 7:00 p.m.
Jan. 6 Dartmouth at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 13 #14 Minnesota-Duluth at Nebraska-Omaha 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 20 #3 Michigan at #4 Notre Dame 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 27 #9 Yale at Harvard 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 3 Cornell at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 10 #1 Boston College at Vermont 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 10 #5 Minnesota at #8 Denver 10:00 p.m.
Feb. 17 Dartmouth at #9 Yale 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 24 #12 Boston University at Vermont 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 24 #15 North Dakota at #8 Denver 10:00 p.m.
March 2 #8 Denver at Nebraska-Omaha 7:30 p.m.
Hockey East Tournament
March 9 Quarterfinals 7:30 p.m.
March 16 Semifinals 5:00 p.m. and 8 p.m.
March 17 Finals 8:00 p.m.
Rankings are based off USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine 2011-12 Men's College Hockey Poll #5 as of Oct. 31.