The Western Michigan Broncos will embark on their 45th season of hockey, and they welcome several of the top squads in the nation to Lawson Ice Arena.

The Broncos will host 18 games this season, including six non-conference contests. Western will also host two nationally broadcast games on the CBS Sports Network.

Here are just a few highlights -

- For the fourth straight season, the Broncos will have a home-and-home weekend against former Central Collegiate Hockey Association rival Ferris State Bulldogs. Western has had the upper hand in the series during that time period, going 4-1-1. The two teams split last year.

- The Broncos will see another former CCHA foe in the Bowling Green Falcons for the fourth straight season. For the second straight season, the two teams will meet in a home-and-home series split on two separate Tuesdays. Western is 5-1 since this series returned.

- For the first time since 2012 (the last year of the CCHA), the Broncos will battle the Michigan Wolverines in regular season play. It's another early season, home-and-home series, with the Broncos hosting the Saturday night contest. The two teams last played in the 2013 Great Lakes Invitational, played at Comerica Park in Detroit, with Western winning 3-2 in overtime in the semifinal. The Broncos would go on to defeat Michigan Tech in the title game.

- The Broncos will host the defending National Champions on the ice in National Collegiate Hockey Conference play, as the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs make their way to Kalamazoo in their only meeting during the season. Western couldn't find any answers last season against Duluth, going 1-5 on the season and being eliminated in the NCHC postseason's quarterfinals. WMU's lone win was at home.

- The second annual Ice Vegas Invitational will have the Broncos heading west to kick off 2019. The schedule for the tournament has not been announced, but the other participating teams are the Air Force Falcons, the St. Lawrence Saints and the Connecticut Huskies. Western's last meeting with Air Force was in the NCAA Regional Semifinals in Pittsburgh in 2017. The Broncos hosted St. Lawrence in 2012 and have never played UConn.

Without further delay, here is the Western Michigan Broncos hockey schedule for 2018-2019. Home games are in bold and asterisks are NCHC games.

Saturday, October 6 - Lethbridge (exhibition) - 7:05pm
Tuesday, October 9 - Bowling Green - 7:05pm
Friday, October 12 - Ferris State - 7:07pm
Saturday, October 13 - Ferris State - 7:05pm
Friday, October 19 - Michigan - TBA
Saturday, October 20 - Michigan - 7:05pm
Tuesday, October 23 - Bowling Green - 7:37pm

Friday, November 2 - Denver* - TBA
Saturday, November 3 - Denver* - TBA
Friday, November 9 - Omaha* - 7:05pm
Saturday, November 10 - Omaha* - 7:05pm
Friday, November 16 - North Dakota* - 8:37pm
Saturday, November 17 - North Dakota* - 8:07pm
Friday, November 30 - Niagara - 7:05pm

Saturday, December 1 - Niagara - 7:05pm
Friday, December 7 - Minnesota Duluth* - 7:05pm
Saturday, December 8 - Minnesota Duluth* - 7:05pm

Friday, January 4 - Ice Vegas Invitational - TBA
Saturday, January 5 - Ice Vegas Invitational - TBA
Friday, January 11 - Miami (OH)* - 7:00pm (CBS Sports Network)
Saturday, January 12 - Miami (OH)* - 7:05pm
Friday, January 18 - St. Cloud State* - TBA
Saturday, January 19 - St. Cloud State* - TBA
Friday, January 25 - Denver* - 7:05pm
Saturday, January 26 - Denver* - 7:05pm

Friday, February 1 - Omaha* - 8:07pm
Saturday, February 2 - Omaha* - 8:07pm
Friday, February 15 - North Dakota* - 6:30pm (CBS Sports Network)
Saturday, February 16 - North Dakota* - 7:05pm
Friday, February 22 - Colorado College* - 9:30pm
Saturday, February 23 - Colorado College* - 6:30pm

Friday, March 1 - St. Cloud State* - 7:05pm
Saturday, March 2 - St. Cloud State* - 7:05pm
Friday, March 8 - Miami (OH)* - 7:35pm
Saturday, March 9 - Miami (OH)* - 7:05pm
NCHC Quarterfinals - March 15-17 (at conference hosts)
NCHC Frozen Faceoff - March 22-23 (Site to be announced)