After enjoying its most successful season in nearly a decade, the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute men's hockey team is now hoping to take the next step.

Today, RPI released their 2011-12 schedule.  The Engineers, who will play 35 games, open their 110th season on October 7th against Minnesota State.

Highlights of the Engineers' slate include playing four other schools that played in the NCAA Tournament last spring, including Frozen Four participant Notre Dame, Colorado College and ECAC Hockey foes Union and Yale.

Seth Appert's club plays five non-league opponents in Troy, including a pair of games with both Minnesota State and Colorado College, and four non-league road games. Among them is a trip to Ferris State for two games and a single game in South Bend. There are also neutral site non-league games against Union in Lake Placid and UMass Lowell in Storrs, Conn.

RPI's season opener is an exhibition game against Acadia on October 1st with the regular season beginning six days later when the Mavericks of Minnesota State visit the Houston Field House for games on October 7-8. The Engineers then embark on road trips to Ferris State (Oct. 14-15) and Notre Dame (Oct. 21) before hosting Colorado College, which advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament last year, on Family Weekend (Oct. 28-29).

Rensselaer kicks off its ECAC Hockey schedule on November 4 when it travels to the North Country to face Clarkson (Nov. 4) and St. Lawrence (Nov. 5). Yale, another NCAA participant last season, is in Troy for the 9th Annual Black Friday on November 11. Brown, the Eli's travel partner, is the foe the next night.

Three nights later, November 15, RPI hosts Union in the first of three regular season meetings between the area rivals. That game between the Engineers and the Dutchmen, who played in the NCAA Tournament for the first time last March, will be an ECAC Hockey contest – and RPI's last home game for nearly eight weeks.

Following a non-league contest at RIT the day after Thanksgiving (Nov. 25), Rensselaer plays at Princeton (Dec. 2) and Quinnipiac (Dec. 3) in league games. A non-league game against Union on December 10 in Lake Placid is followed by an 18-day break. The Engineers return to the ice on December 29 when they play UMass Lowell in the first round of the Toyota UConn Hockey Classic. Either the host Huskies or Army provides the opposition the following day.

January 6-7 marks Rensselaer's return to the Houston Field House when it hosts Dartmouth and Harvard. RPI's final non-league game is Tuesday, January 10 against AIC in Troy. A trip to Schenectady to face Union follows four nights later (Jan. 14). The Engineers remain on the road for games at Brown and Yale on January 20-21.

RPI returns to the Houston Field House for a season-long four-game homestand beginning with a game against St. Lawrence on January 26. Clarkson visits the next night, while Cornell and Colgate come calling the following weekend (Feb. 3-4). The game against the Raiders, who eliminated RPI from the ECAC Hockey First Round last season, marks the 35th Annual Big Red Freakout!

RPI travels to Harvard and Dartmouth the next weekend (Feb. 10-11) before closing out the regular season home slate with contests against Quinnipiac on February 17 and Princeton on February 18. The home finale is Senior Appreciation Night.

Rensselaer concludes the campaign at Colgate on February 24 and Cornell the next night. The ECAC Hockey Playoffs begin the next weekend and continue to March 27. The NCAA Tournament runs from March 23 to April 7, with the Frozen Four taking place in Tampa, Fla.

The 2010-11 Engineers posted a 20-13-5 record, a national ranking for most of the season and a trip to the NCAA Tournament. The team recorded back-to-back winning seasons for the first time in nearly 10 years (2000-01 & 2001-02) and ranked in the top-15 in the country in several statistical categories.