ST. PAUL, Minn. – Although the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) is headquartered in Colorado Springs, the NCHC has strong ties to the state of Minnesota, with two members located in the state, roughly a quarter of the conference’s student-athletes hailing from Minnesota and the NCHC’s championship, the Frozen Faceoff, calling Minneapolis home. To build on those strong connections, the NCHC and Minnesota Hockey announced Tuesday, Aug. 5, they will again partner together for the 2014-15 season, their second straight year.
After a successful partnership in the NCHC’s inaugural campaign in 2013-14, Minnesota Hockey and the conference will continue to work together to help grow the game of hockey in Minnesota. The NCHC will be able to promote the Frozen Faceoff and the conference as a whole using some of Minnesota Hockey’s resources, while, like last year, Minnesota Hockey members will be eligible for discounted tickets to the Frozen Faceoff, which takes place March 20-21, 2015 at Target Center. Minnesota Hockey will also have a presence at the second annual Frozen Faceoff. Together, both sides look to make the Frozen Faceoff a memorable event for both participating student-athletes and the NCHC’s passionate fans.
“The state of Minnesota is extremely important to the success of the NCHC and our partnership with Minnesota Hockey is indicative of this fact,” NCHC Commissioner Josh Fenton said. “We are appreciative of the support Glen Andresen and the entire organization showed the conference during our inaugural season. We look forward to working with Minnesota Hockey in pursuit of their priorities to grow the game, develop players and provide a safe environment to compete.”
Of the 217 student-athletes who will play in the NCHC in 2014-15, 60 are natives of Minnesota, over 40 more than any other state, with Illinois second, claiming 15 NCHC players. The number of Minnesotans is up nine from 2013-14, when 51 Minnesota natives played in the NCHC’s inaugural season. Among NCHC teams, Minnesota Duluth boasts the most Minnesotans on its roster with 18, but all eight NCHC squads have at least one player from Minnesota on their 2014-15 roster with Minnesota the only state to claim that distinction. St. Cloud State is second among NCHC teams with 13 Minnesota natives on its roster, while Omaha carries 10. Colorado College and North Dakota each list seven Minnesotans on their roster, while Miami and Western Michigan claim two each and Denver has one on its roster.
Minnesota’s presence in college hockey extends far beyond the NCHC however, as the North Star State produced 183 Division I men’s college hockey players in 2013-14, 40 more than any other state. Michigan was second with 143 players while Massachusetts claimed 111 Division I men’s hockey players last year.
“We are very excited to continue our relationship with the NCHC,” said Glen Andresen, Executive Director of Minnesota Hockey. “College hockey is an important part of the hockey culture in Minnesota, and we look forward to working with the NCHC to grow the game at the local level while also fostering player development through exposure to some of the best players and coaches in the country.”
Minnesota Hockey, which is an affiliate of USA Hockey, serves as the official governing body for youth and amateur hockey in the state of Minnesota while also being the premier developer of hockey players in the North Star State. With over 65,000 registered players, coaches and officials, Minnesota Hockey is the largest state governing body for amateur hockey in the United States and has developed more men’s and women’s Division I college hockey players than any other state.
On July 24, the NCHC announced it was also renewing its partnership for the 2014-15 season with Let’s Play Hockey newspaper, which is produced in the Twin Cities and has long been a staple of covering Minnesota Hockey.
NCHC Frozen Faceoff ticket renewals were mailed out at the beginning of August. Fans that purchased all-session tickets to the inaugural event have until Sept. 15 to renew their tickets. All-session tickets then go on sale to the general public on Sept. 25. Information regarding discounted tickets for Minnesota Hockey members will be emailed directly to their members in the coming months.
The NCHC’s second season begins with three exhibition games Saturday, Oct. 4 while regular-season play begins Friday, Oct. 10 with seven of the eight teams in action. Conference play opens the following Friday, Oct. 17 as Omaha travels to Western Michigan and North Dakota heads to Colorado College.
Photo credit to Tom Nelson
Tag(s): MN Hockey News