UND hopes to bring NCAA hockey tourney back to N.D.
UND is hoping to bring the NCAA hockey tournament back to North Dakota. UND athletic director Brian Faison said the school is working on putting together a bid to host a men's hockey regional at Fargo's Scheels Arena in 2015 or 2016. The NCAA's c...
UND is hoping to bring the NCAA hockey tournament back to North Dakota.
UND athletic director Brian Faison said the school is working on putting together a bid to host a men's hockey regional at Fargo's Scheels Arena in 2015 or 2016.
The NCAA's currently philosophy for NCAA regionals is to place them close to college hockey hotbeds, but it does not allow teams to play at their regular home arena.
Scheels Arena, a 5,000-seat venue that opened in 2008, is the closest viable option for UND to host a men's hockey regional.
The NCAA has awarded regionals for next season, but has not made any announcements about the future beyond that. It is expected to review bids late this summer or early in the fall.
Faison said that officials at Ralph Engelstad Arena are helping UND put together the bid for Scheels Arena.
UND last hosted a regional in 2006 at Ralph Engelstad Arena (before the NCAA moved them off of campus sites), winning a pair of games by three-plus goals and advancing to the NCAA Frozen Four.
The last on-campus facility to host a regional was Minneapolis' Mariucci Arena in 2009. Since the NCAA issued the edict to move regionals away from regular home sites, Minnesota has hosted two regionals at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
There was a proposal at the annual Florida meetings last week to change the NCAA tournament format to allow the top eight seeds to host a best-of-three series in the first round, but it was met with resistance from a segment of coaches, Faison said.
"Clearly, for me, I've always been a supporter of the top eight hosting in the first round," said Faison, who will be a member of the NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Committee in September. "I think it's a better way. There are still going to be upsets. It's just better for the game."
The primary concern of coaches with that format is that it's not a competitively fair situation, Faison said.
UND also is putting together a bid for Ralph Engelstad Arena to host the Women's Frozen Four in 2015 or 2016.
The women's Frozen Four typically is played at a home venue. Last season, Minnesota won the championship in its home rink, Ridder Arena.
UND has never hosted a Women's Frozen Four.
• Faison said the National Collegiate Hockey Conference will soon release details on how it will handle officiating. He said NCHC director of hockey operations Joe Novak and director of officials Don Adam presented for the coaches in Florida. Priorities for Novak and Adam are developing officials, holding them accountable and getting them better training. "People will be pleasantly surprised about this," Faison said.
• The NCHC announced Wednesday its board of directors for its inaugural season. Faison is the chair and UND assistant athletic director Jayson Hajdu also is on the board.
• A handful of locals were selected in the United States Hockey League Entry Draft late Tuesday night. Roseau's Cole Bjugson went to Fargo in the second round; Thief River Falls' Chris Forney went to Indiana in the 10th round; East Grand Forks' Colton Poolman went to Fargo in the 14th round; Grand Forks' John Simonson went to Lincoln in the 20th round; and East Grand Forks' Grant Loven went to Lincoln in the 24th round.
• East Grand Forks' Gage Ausmus, a defenseman who plays for the U.S. Under-18 team, will make his college commitment on Friday. Ausmus de-committed from Denver after it fired coach George Gwozdecky.
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