FANDOM


Tournament play beginsEdit

Though U.S. colleges had been fielding men's ice hockey teams since 1895,[1] the NCAA did not have a formal tournament in place to decide a champion until after World War II.[2] Starting with the 1947-48 season, the NCAA tournament invited the four top-ranked teams to Colorado Springs, Colorado to compete for the NCAA Championship.

No. Season Tournament No. of teams
in tournament
Start Finish NCAA Champion
(number)
Champion
Conference
Champion
Record
Championship Site
11947–481948 4[a 1] March 20 Michigan (1) None(20–2–1)Colorado Springs, Colorado
21948–491949 4[a 2] March 19Boston College (1) None(21–1–0)Colorado Springs, Colorado
31949–5019504March 18Colorado College (1) None(18–5–1)Colorado Springs, Colorado
41950–511951 4[a 3] March 17Michigan (2) None(22–4–1)Colorado Springs, Colorado
51951–5219524March 15Michigan (3) MCHL(22–4–0)Colorado Springs, Colorado
61952–5319534March 14Michigan (4) MCHL(22–4–0)Colorado Springs, Colorado
71953–5419544March 13Rensselaer (1) Tri-State League(18–5–0)Colorado Springs, Colorado
81954–5519554March 12Michigan (5) WIHL(18–5–1)Colorado Springs, Colorado
91955–5619564March 17Michigan (6) WIHL(20–2–1)Colorado Springs, Colorado
101956–5719574March 16Colorado College (2) WIHL(25–5–0)Colorado Springs, Colorado
  1. Tournament play begins with 4 independent Division I teams invited to participate. No formal conferences existed at this time.
  2. A third-place game was instituted.
  3. Ice hockey conferences begin to form, beginning with the Tri-State League[3] and followed the next year by the Midwest Collegiate Hockey League (precursor to the WCHA).[4]

Rotating tournamentsEdit

After spending 10 years at one location, the NCAA began to move the Division I ice hockey tournament to different sites. Over the next 14 years, the tournament was held in 11 different venues and, more importantly to the northeast teams, was held in New England eight times. While the rotations stopped briefly in 1972, they resumed after 1974 and the tournament has not been held in the same city for consecutive years since.

No. Season Tournament No. of teams
in tournament
Start Finish NCAA Champion
(number)
Champion
Conference
Champion
Record
Championship Site
111957–5819584March 15Denver (1) WIHL(25–10–2)Minneapolis, Minnesota
121958–5919594March 14North Dakota (1) None(20–10–1)Troy, New York
131959–601960 4 [b 1] March 19 Denver (2) WCHA(27–4–3)Boston, Massachusetts
141960–6119614March 18Denver (3) WCHA(30–1–1)Denver, Colorado
151961–6219624March 17Michigan Tech (1) WCHA(29–3–0)Utica, New York
161962–6319634March 16North Dakota (2) WCHA(22–7–3)Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts
171963–6419644March 21Michigan (7) WCHA(24–4–1)Denver, Colorado
181964–6519654March 20Michigan Tech (2) WCHA(24–5–2)Providence, Rhode Island
191965–6619664March 19Michigan State (1) WCHA(16–13–0)Minneapolis, Minnesota
201966–6719674March 18Cornell (1) ECAC(27–1–1)Syracuse, New York
211967–6819684March 16Denver (4) WCHA(28–5–1)Duluth, Minnesota
221968–6919694March 15Denver (5) WCHA(26–6–0)Colorado Springs, Colorado
231969–7019704March 21Cornell (2) ECAC(29–0–0)[b 2]Lake Placid, New York
241970–7119714March 20Boston University (1) ECAC(28–2–1)Syracuse, New York
251971–7219724March 18Boston University (2) ECAC(26–4–1)Boston, Massachusetts
261972–731973 4[b 3] March 17 Wisconsin (1) WCHA(29–9–2)Boston, Massachusetts
271973–7419744March 16Minnesota (1) WCHA(22–11–6)Boston, Massachusetts
281974–7519754March 15Michigan Tech (3) WCHA(32–10–0)St. Louis, Missouri
291975–7619764March 27Minnesota (2) WCHA(28–14–2)Denver, Colorado
  1. Two games were played between eastern teams to determine tournament participants. Neither game is considered as part of the NCAA or ECAC tournaments.]
  2. The 1969–70 Cornell Big Red are thus far the only NCAA Division I men's ice hockey champion to complete a perfect season since tournament play began.
  3. The University of Denver's participation in the 1973 tournament was later vacated by the NCAA committee on infractions.[5]

Quarterfinals expansionEdit

For the 30th season of the tournament, which had become the de facto possession of the WCHA and ECAC, the NCAA instituted a First Round game where the CCHA champion would play. The first round system stayed in place, with one or two games being played, until 1981 when a full quarterfinal round was adopted. Between 1981 and 1987 the quarterfinals consisted of two games where the team that scored the most goals in the two games would advance to the "Frozen Four". Between 1977 and 1987 Detroit, Michigan and Providence, Rhode Island would each host the tournament 4 separate times.

No. Season Tournament No. of teams
in tournament
Start Finish NCAA Champion
(number)
Champion
Conference
Champion
Record
Championship Site
301976–7719775March 26Wisconsin (2) WCHA(37–7–1)Detroit, Michigan
311977–7819786March 25Boston University (3) ECAC(30–2–0)Providence, Rhode Island
321978–7919795March 24Minnesota (3) WCHA(32–11–1)Detroit, Michigan
331979–8019805March 29North Dakota (3) WCHA(31–8–1)Providence, Rhode Island
341980–8119818March 28Wisconsin (3) WCHA(27–14–1)Duluth, Minnesota
351981–82 [c 1]19828March 27North Dakota (4) WCHA(35–12–0)Providence, Rhode Island
361982–8319838March 26Wisconsin (4) WCHA(33–10–4)Grand Forks, North Dakota
371983–8419848March 24Bowling Green (1) CCHA(34–8–2)Lake Placid, New York
381984–85[c 2]1985 8 March 30Rensselaer (2) ECAC(35–2–1)Detroit, Michigan
391985–8619868March 29Michigan State (2) CCHA(34–9–2)Providence, Rhode Island
401986–8719878March 28North Dakota (5) WCHA(40–8–0)Detroit, Michigan
  1. Four teams leave the WCHA and join the more geographically concentrated CCHA. Michigan, Michigan State, Michigan Tech and Notre Dame (Michigan Tech would rejoin the WCHA 3 years later).
  2. Six teams leave the ECAC over disagreements about the length of the conference schedule. Boston College, Boston University, Maine, New Hampshire, Northeastern and Providence leave to form the Hockey East conference in 1984 and are joined by Division II Lowell (now known as UMass Lowell).

Additional expansionEdit

With 4 major conferences and a myriad of independent programs competing at the Division I level, the tournament was expanded to 12 teams beginning with the 1987-88 season. The first round followed the same pattern as the quarterfinals with teams playing two games against a single opponent and the one with a higher goal total after the series advancing. The rest of the tournament retained the earlier format. One year later the goal-total format was abandoned and replaced by a best-of-three series for the opening round and quarterfinals. In 1992 the entire tournament was switched to a single-elimination format and divided into two regional locations that would feed into the "Frozen Four". For the first time, in 1999, the championship was held in a region without a local Division I program when the championship round was awarded to Anaheim, California.

No. Season Tournament No. of teams
in tournament
Start Finish NCAA Champion
(number)
Champion
Conference
Champion
Record
Championship Site
411987–88198812April 2Lake Superior State (1) CCHA(33–7–6)Lake Placid, New York
421988–89198912April 1Harvard (1) ECAC(31–3–0)St. Paul, Minnesota
431989–901990 12[d 1] April 1 Wisconsin (5) WCHA(36–9–1)Detroit, Michigan
441990–91199112March 30Northern Michigan (1) WCHA(38–5–4)St. Paul, Minnesota
451991–921992 12[d 2] April 4Lake Superior State (2) CCHA(30–9–4)Albany, New York
461992–93199312April 3Maine (1) Hockey East(42–1–2)Milwaukee, Wisconsin
471993–94199412April 2Lake Superior State (3) CCHA(31–10–4)St. Paul, Minnesota
481994–95199512April 1Boston University (4) Hockey East(31–6–3)Providence, Rhode Island
491995–96199612March 30Michigan (8) CCHA(34–7–2)Cincinnati, Ohio
501996–97199712March 29North Dakota (6) WCHA(31–10–2)Milwaukee, Wisconsin
511997–981998 12 April 4 Michigan (9) CCHA(34–11–1)Boston, Massachusetts
521998–99199912October 3April 3Maine (2) Hockey East(31–6–4)Anaheim, California
531999–00200012October 1April 8North Dakota (7) WCHA(31–8–5)Providence, Rhode Island
542000–01200112October 6April 7Boston College (2) Hockey East(33–8–2)Albany, New York
552001–02200212October 5April 6Minnesota (4) WCHA(32–8–4)St. Paul, Minnesota
  1. The third-place game was discontinued.
  2. The University of Wisconsin's participation in the 1992 tournament was later vacated by the NCAA Committee on Infractions.

Further expansion and commercializationEdit

After the addition of two more conferences around the turn of the century (MAAC and CHA, neither of which now sponsors men's hockey) bringing up the total number to 6, and with each receiving an at-large bid starting in 2001 and 2003 respectively, the tournament was again expanded by 4 teams. Two additional regional groups were added (Northeast and Midwest) and byes into the quarterfinals were eliminated. Additionally the "Frozen Four" was seen as a vehicle to increase both revenue and the popularity of college hockey, as such the apex of the tournament began to move around to non-traditional college hockey areas, usually in the buildings of NHL teams.

The first decade of the 21st century saw significant changes to hockey's conference landscape. After the 2002–03 season, the MAAC hockey programs split from the league to form Atlantic Hockey. CHA stopped sponsoring men's hockey after the 2009–10 season, but still operates as a women's league.

No. Season Tournament No. of teams
in tournament
Start Finish NCAA Champion
(number)
Champion
Conference
Champion
Record
Championship Site
562002–03200316October 4April 12Minnesota (5) WCHA(28–8–9)Buffalo, New York
572003–042004 16[e 1] October 3 April 10 Denver (6) WCHA(27–12–5)Boston, Massachusetts
582004–05200516October 3April 9Denver (7) WCHA(32–9–2)Columbus, Ohio
592005–06200616October 7April 8Wisconsin (6) WCHA(30–10–3)Milwaukee, Wisconsin
602006–07200716October 6April 7Michigan State (3) CCHA(26–13–3)St. Louis, Missouri
612007–08200816October 7April 12Boston College (3) Hockey East(25–11–8)Denver, Colorado
622008–09200916October 10April 11Boston University (5) Hockey East(35–6–4)Washington, D.C.
632009–10201016October 8April 10Boston College (4) Hockey East(29–10–3)Detroit, Michigan

[e 2]

642010–112011 16[e 3] October 2April 9Minnesota-Duluth (1) WCHA(26–10–6)St. Paul, Minnesota
652011–12201216October 1April 7Boston College (5) Hockey East(33–10–1)Tampa, Florida
662012–13201316October 6April 13Yale (1) ECAC(22–12–3)Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  1. The MAAC's hockey programs break away to form Atlantic Hockey.
  2. The Frozen Four was held at Ford Field in Detroit. This was the first championship in NCAA ice hockey history held at a venue designed for field sports.
  3. College Hockey America ceases sponsoring men's hockey after all of its four remaining programs either joined other conferences or went independent. The conference remains in operation to this day as a women's-only league.

Conference realignment and dissolutionEdit

In 2010, Terrence Pegula, an alumnus of Pennsylvania State University, donated $102 million to his alma mater for the express purpose of building a brand-new hockey arena and to fund the upgrade of both the men's and women's ice hockey programs from club level to Division I.[6] This began a chain of events that caused a massive amount of conference realignment, the founding of two new conferences, and the ending of one of the oldest conferences in the NCAA. Penn State's rise to the D-I ranks gave the Big Ten its sixth university that sponsored varsity men's ice hockey, a number significant for two reasons. First, Big Ten bylaws dictate that the conference can only sponsor a sport if it has at least six participating members. More significantly, NCAA rules on conference formation dictate that at least six teams must be present for a conference to receive an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament. In short order the other five teams announced their intention to leave their current conferences (WCHA and CCHA). In response several members of the WCHA, including traditional powerhouses Denver and North Dakota, split to form a new conference, the NCHC. The NCHC quickly grew to 8 member teams, leaving the WCHA with only 4 remaining schools and the CCHA with 6. Five of the remaining CCHA schools then proceeded to join the WCHA, along with the Independent Alabama-Huntsville, bringing the WCHA up to 10 member schools. The remaining CCHA team, Notre Dame, joined Hockey East. In essence all of the universities that changed conferences were not significantly harmed by the changes because no team was left without a conference by the start of the 2013–14 season, but the shift did create one more automatic qualifier for the tournament, reducing the chance to receive an at-large bid for all schools across the nation.[7]

No. Season Tournament No. of teams
in tournament
Start Finish NCAA Champion
(number)
Champion
Conference
Champion
Record
Championship Site
67 2013–14 2014 16[f 1] October 4 April 12 Union (1) ECAC (30–6–4) Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
68 2014–15 2015 16 October 4 April 13 Providence (1) Hockey East (26–13–2) Boston, Massachusetts
69 2015–16 2016 16 October 3 April 9 North Dakota (8) NCHC (34–6–4) Tampa, Florida
70 2016–17 2017 16 October 1 April 8 Denver (8) NCHC (33–7–4) Chicago, Illinois
71 2017–18 2018 16 October 1 April 7 Minnesota–Duluth (2) NCHC (25–16–3) St. Paul, Minnesota
  1. Major conference realignment shook the Division I men's hockey landscape, with the following changes:
    • The Big Ten became the first Division I all-sports conference to sponsor men's ice hockey since the MAAC ceased sponsorship of the sport in 2003. Before 2013–14, the six Big Ten hockey schools consisted of three WCHA members, two CCHA members, and one independent.
    • Five WCHA members and one CCHA member announced in 2011 that they would form the National Collegiate Hockey Conference, with play to start in 2013–14. Several months after the NCHC was formed, two more schools joined, one from the CCHA and one from the WCHA.
    • The CCHA folded at the end of the 2012–13 season. In addition to the previously mentioned conference moves, one school (Notre Dame) joined Hockey East (becoming that conference's first non-New England member) and five either joined or rejoined the WCHA.
    • In addition to the five former CCHA members, the WCHA added former independent Alabama–Huntsville.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. "Yale Men's Hockey Team History", USCHO.com. Retrieved on 2013-05-18. 
  2. "NCAA Division I Tournament", College Hockey Historical Archives. Retrieved on 2013-05-18. 
  3. "History of the Tri-State League", College Hockey Historical Archives. Retrieved on 2013-05-18. 
  4. "History of the WCHA", College Hockey Historical Archives. Retrieved on 2013-05-18. 
  5. "NCAA Puts Denver on Two Year Probation", St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved on 2013-05-18. 
  6. "Penn State Makes it Official: Varsity Programs on the Way", USCHO.com, 2010-09-17. Retrieved on 2014-04-30. 
  7. "The CCHA is going away, but its history will have a final resting place", USCHO.com, 2013-03-06. Retrieved on 2013-07-23. 

External linksEdit


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