Good Day College Hockey Fans! Are you feeling a void yet? I know I am. Looking at the calendar, we’re supposed to be going to college hockey games. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown the 2020-21 college hockey season on its head. In my humble opinion, 2020 can’t end fast enough. It’s been a trying and dreadful year.
Looking at the University of North Dakota hockey schedule, fans should be preparing for the third non-conference game of the season in Nashville, TN. Instead, fans are staying home. Enough with the negativity. There is hope. Moving forward, the NCHC is tentatively scheduled to begin play in late November.
According to Brad Schlossman, the National Collegiate Hockey Conference could be headed to the bubble-like the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs that were held in Edmonton, Alberta, and Toronto, Ontario. Omaha and Grand Forks have emerged as the leading candidates for the bubble location.
Hopefully, North Dakota can get it’s COVID-19 numbers under control so we can host games in the bubble. It’s not ideal, because fans won’t be allowed in the building.
I think Grand Forks, ND would be the best option. Ralph Engelstad Arena has the infrastructure to handle eight teams. In the past, the Ralph has hosted the 2005 World Junior Championship and the IIHF U18 World Championship.
First question: if the NCHC is going to play 10 games in the bubble, who’s going to broadcast the games? Let’s assume, to watch the games, you’re going to need to subscribe to NCHC.tv. My next question, who’s going to produce the NCHC.TV webcasts?
UND would be the best option for NCHC.TV webcasts. It’s not even close. Outside of the CBS Sports Network, UND has the best broadcast team in the conference. With that said, after seven seasons, there are still a couple of member schools that need to improve their NCHC webcasts. Comparing UND’s webcasts to Omaha’s, UND prevails. I would hope UND produces the NCHC.tv webcasts. As I’ve said in the past, there should be a league minimum standard.
UND to Host 2026 Frozen Four in Vegas
On Wednesday, UND announced that the school will host the 2026 Frozen Four. Viva Las Vegas. UND will be a host for West Regionals in 2023 and 2025. This is great news for UND hockey fans. In the past, the Fargo Regionals have been very successful. Even when UND failed to make the NCAA tourney.
“We are excited for the opportunity to partner with the City of Las Vegas, Las Vegas Events and T-Mobile Arena as the host institution for the 2026 NCAA Frozen Four,” said UND Associate Athletic Director for Operations Erik Martinson. “Bringing the flair of Vegas and our experience in hosting destination style events in Hockey will not disappoint. We can’t wait to get started in what truly will be a remarkable event.”
— North Dakota MHockey (@UNDmhockey) October 14, 2020
Here’s the list of future Frozen Fours and NCAA Regional sites.
Future NCAA Frozen Fours
2021: Pittsburgh (Host: Robert Morris)
2022: Boston (Host: Hockey East)
2023: Tampa (Host: Wisconsin)
2024: St. Paul (Host: Minnesota)
2025: St. Louis (Host: Vermont)
2026: Las Vegas (Host: UND)
Future NCAA regionals
2021: Fargo, ND, Loveland, Colo., Bridgeport, Conn., Manchester, N.H.
2022: Albany, N.Y., Allentown, Pa., Worcester, Mass., Loveland, Colo.
2023: Fargo, ND, Allentown, Pa., Bridgeport, Conn., Manchester, N.H.
2024: Sioux Falls, S.D., Maryland Heights, Mo., Providence, R.I., Springfield, Mass.
2025: Fargo, ND, Allentown, Pa., Manchester, N.H., Toledo, Ohio.
2026: Sioux Falls, SD, Albany, N.Y., Loveland, Colo., Worcester, Mass.