The National Collegiate Hockey Conference Frozen Faceoff will be held March 12-16 this season and will temporarily be moving to Grand Forks, N.D. The decision was made after the NCHC Board of Directors approved the changes last Thursday.
The University of North Dakota’s Ralph Engelstad Arena will be the host venue, the tournament will be single elimination through the entire tournament as opposed to having three-el
game quarterfinal series in the past. Quarterfinals will take place March 12-13 while the semifinals and championship will take place March 15-16. There will be no third place consolation game. The NCHC currently plans to return to its original postseason format in 2022.
“Grand Forks is a great venue and place to play. It’s an open season this year, one game determines it all,” said Western Michigan head coach Andy Murray in a press conference. “Any team in our league is capable of beating each other on any given night.”
The NCHC No. 1 seed will face the No. 8 seed and the No. 2 seed will face the No. 7 seed March 12. The third- and sixth-place teams along with the fourth- and fifth-place teams will face off March 13. The four victors will then be re-seeded for the semifinals March 15 with the championship game taking place March 16.
The quarterfinal matchups can be viewed by fans on NCHC.tv while CBS Sports Network will broadcast the semifinals and championship. All game times are currently to be determined.
With state, local and university guidelines, fan attendance will be limited. Ticket pricing and availability will be announced at a later date.
The seeding for the tournament will be based on regular season standings. All eight teams in the NCHC have met the minimum of playing 13 required games in order to be eligible for the tournament. The winner of the tournament will receive the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
The current NCHC standings are as follows:
- Minnesota-Duluth- 39 pts
- North Dakota- 38 pts
- St. Cloud State- 37 pts
- Omaha- 32 pts
- Denver- 25 pts
- Western Michigan- 21 pts
- Colorado College- 15 pts
- Miami- 15 pts