ORONO, Maine — A home series with the defending national champions and a trip to Alaska are among the highlights of the 2014-15 University of Maine men’s ice hockey schedule, which the university released on Tuesday.

The Black Bears, who finished the 2013-14 campaign with a 16-15-4 record, will open the regular season with a trip to Anchorage, Alaska, for the Kendall Hockey Classic, where coach Red Gendron’s team will take on Alaska-Anchorage and Alaska Fairbanks. The Alaska trip follows an Oct. 5 exhibition date with the University of New Brunswick at Alfond Arena.

The following weekend (Oct. 17-18), the Bears will entertain reigning national champion Union College in its regular-season home opener. UMaine will host Alaska-Anchorage the following weekend.

Home games with Hockey East rivals Boston College, Boston University and Notre Dame and four games with border rival New Hampshire, including one at the Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland, also highlight the schedule.

“We’ve worked very hard to bring an outstanding schedule of opponents to visit the Alfond,” Gendron said in a news release. “Besides our exceptional league opponents BU, BC, UNH, Lowell, NU, UMass and the University of Notre Dame, note that reigning national champion Union comes to the Alfond along with Alaska-Anchorage and Canisius College.”

“The 2014-15 season promises to be extremely exciting as we build on the successes of the 2013-2014 campaign. Without question, this season’s home schedule is much stronger and exciting than the 2013-14 slate of home games. Fans can expect to see the work habits, extraordinary compete level, high-tempo execution and overall passion that were trademarks of last year’s Black Bears,” added Gendron.

UMaine will open the Hockey East portion of its schedule with a two-game set at home against UMass on Oct. 31-Nov. 1 before traveling to Vermont the following weekend. Maine will host rival BU for a single game on Nov. 15 before traveling to Boston to face the Terriers and Boston College the following weekend. November wraps up with a pair of nonconference games with Vermont at home Thanksgiving weekend.

A neutral site home-and-home series with UNH is on tap for Dec. 12 and 13, with the first game at Manchester’s Verizon Wireless Arena and the teams squaring off in Portland the next night.

After the Christmas break, Maine will square off with Atlantic Hockey member Canisius (N.Y.) at home on Jan. 2-3 before a nonconference series at UMass the following weekend. Reigning Hockey East champ UMass Lowell comes to Orono on Jan. 16, and BC will invade the Alfond on Jan. 18.

A home-and-home series with UNH follows on Jan. 23-24, with the Friday game at Alfond Arena, with Hockey East newcomer UConn slated to come to Orono on Jan. 30.

Notre Dame will make its first Alfond appearance as a Hockey East member on Feb. 6-7, while UMaine’s final home series of the season will be with Northeastern on Feb. 20-21.

Season ticket renewals will be mailed at the end of June. The season ticket cost per game is less than last season and for the first time, season ticket pricing will be associated with a seat type. Seatback season tickets will be $385 while bench seats will cost $355. By purchasing a season ticket, fans receive a savings of $52 to $82 per seat.

In addition, season-ticket holders will have the first option to purchase Hockey East playoff tickets at a discounted rate as part of their renewal. Hockey East has adjusted the format in 2014-2015, creating a first round best-of-three series, followed by the best-of-three quarterfinal series, both at home sites.

The deadline for renewals is July 31. Fans can call the ticket office today at 581-BEAR to join the season-ticket waiting list and will receive a call back to select a seat in August. Current season ticket holders receive the first opportunity to move into new open seats at the end of the renewal period. Fans can also call the Black Bear Club at 581-1130 to purchase open donor seats.