Ice Hockey Wiki
NCAA Women's Ice Hockey Tournament
Sport College ice hockey
Number of teams 8
Format Single-elimination tournament
Current stadium Erie Insurance Arena (2021)
Current location Erie, Pennsylvania (2021)
Played 2001–present
Last contest 2019
Current champion Wisconsin Badgers (5)
Most championships Minnesota Golden Gophers (6)
TV partner(s) BTN
Official website

The annual NCAA Women's Ice Hockey Tournament is a college ice hockey tournament held in the United States by the National Collegiate Athletic Association to determine the top women's team in the NCAA.


The NCAA Championship of Women's Ice Hockey began in 2001, although several universities had had women's teams established since the early 1970s.

In 1965, the first collegiate women's ice hockey team in the United States was created at Brown University. In February 1966, the team, named the "Pembroke Pandas", played its first match. Their opponents were the Walpole Brooms, a non-collegiate team. The women's ice hockey program of Cornell University began in 1971. The Big Red team competed in its first match in 1972, which it won 4–3, against Scarborough. In 1972, they played eight matches and lost half, including two defeats against the Pembroke Pandas. Yale University made its debut in women's hockey on December 9, 1975. The University of Minnesota-Duluth, the University of New Hampshire, and the rest Ivy League have similar histories.[1]

In 1976, Brown University would host the first ever Ivy League women's ice hockey tournament. Competitors in the tournament included Princeton, Yale, and Cornell, which won the tournament. Women's ice hockey continued growth and acceptance continued through the early 1980s.[2] In 1984, the Providence Friars won the inaugural ECAC women's ice hockey championship.

In the 1997–98 season, the American Women's College Hockey Alliance (AWCHA) made its debut. It was financed by United States Olympic Committee.[3] This allowed for the first national women's ice hockey championship to occur, which was won by New Hampshire. The 1997–98 season also saw the creation of the Patty Kazmaier Award, designed to recognize the most remarkable women's collegiate ice hockey player every season. The AWCHA also conducted championships in 1999 and 2000, which were won by Harvard and Minnesota respectively.

During the 1999–2000 season, WCHA joined the ECAC in an attempt to make women's ice hockey an NCAA sanctioned sport. In August 2000, the NCAA announced that it would set up a national division of women's ice hockey with a national championship at the end of every season, starting with the 2000–01 season. The Minnesota–Duluth Bulldogs won the inaugural tournament and, by extension, championship 4–2 against the St. Lawrence Skating Saints.

NCAA Division I Women's Ice Hockey[]

In all, 35 schools in the United States, ranging from the Midwest to the East Coast, sponsor varsity women's hockey. Four National Collegiate conferences currently exist—College Hockey America, ECAC Hockey, Hockey East, and the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. With a 30+ game schedule, competing for conference and national championships, NCAA Division I women's hockey has a demanding and challenging season.


Under NCAA rules, Division II schools are allowed to compete as Division I members in sports that do not offer D-II championships.[4][5] As there is no Division II championship for women's ice hockey, this rule applies to the tournament. The official name of the "Division I" tournament is the National Collegiate Women's Ice Hockey Championship, which reflects the NCAA's formal terminology for championship events that are open to schools from multiple divisions.

This tournament is a single elimination competition of eight teams. The semi-finals and finals are called the "Women's Frozen Four." This moniker is similar to the name used by the NCAA Men's Ice Hockey Championship. The term is derived from the term "Final four."

The Patty Kazmaier Award ceremony takes place annually during Women's Frozen Four weekend.


Although many schools from many conferences have been competitive, the first 13 championships were won by only three different schools all originating from the WCHA: Minnesota-Duluth, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. In 2014, the WCHA's hold on the championship was finally broken when Clarkson defeated Minnesota. The ECAC, from which Clarkson originated, has easily been the second most competitive conference, with appearances in eight national title games, including the first five. Hockey East has had three title game appearances, twice by Boston University and once by Boston College, and the CHA has had one title appearance, by Mercyhurst in 2009.

Year Champion Score Runner-up City Arena
2001 Minnesota–Duluth 4–2 St. Lawrence Minneapolis, MN Mariucci Arena
2002 Minnesota–Duluth (2) 3–2 Brown Durham, NH Whittemore Center
2003 Minnesota–Duluth (3) 4–3 (2OT) Harvard Duluth, MN DECC Arena
2004 Minnesota 6–2 Harvard Providence, RI Dunkin' Donuts Center
2005 Minnesota (2) 4–3 Harvard Durham, NH Whittemore Center
2006 Wisconsin 3–0 Minnesota Minneapolis, MN Mariucci Arena
2007 Wisconsin (2) 4–1 Minnesota–Duluth Lake Placid, NY Herb Brooks Arena
2008 Minnesota–Duluth (4) 4–0 Wisconsin Duluth, MN DECC Arena
2009 Wisconsin (3) 5–0 Mercyhurst Boston, MA Agganis Arena
2010 Minnesota–Duluth (5) 3–2 (3OT) Cornell Minneapolis, MN Ridder Arena
2011 Wisconsin (4) 4–1 Boston University Erie, PA Erie Insurance Arena
2012 Minnesota (3) 4–2 Wisconsin Duluth, MN AMSOIL Arena
2013 Minnesota (4) 6–3 Boston University Minneapolis, MN Ridder Arena
2014 Clarkson 5–4 Minnesota Hamden, CT TD Bank Sports Center
2015 Minnesota (5) 4–1 Harvard Minneapolis, MN Ridder Arena[6]
2016 Minnesota (6) 3–1 Boston College Durham, NH Whittemore Center


2017 Clarkson (2) 3–0 Wisconsin St. Charles, MO Family Arena


2018 Clarkson (3) 2–1 (OT) Colgate Minneapolis, MN Ridder Arena [6]
2019 Wisconsin (5) 2–0 Minnesota Hamden, CT People's United Center[7]
2020 Not held due to the COVID-19 pandemic Boston, MA Agganis Arena[7]
2021 TBD TBD TBD Erie, PA Erie Insurance Arena[7]
2022 TBD TBD TBD State College, PA Pegula Ice Arena


Team titles[]

Team Number Years won
Minnesota 6 2004, 2005, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016
Minnesota–Duluth 5 2001, 2002, 2003, 2008, 2010
Wisconsin 5 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2019
Clarkson 3 2014, 2017, 2018


In February 2017, the NCAA announced that it had reached a four-year deal with Big Ten Network to televise the Women's national championship game beginning in 2017, and the Frozen Four semi-finals beginning in 2018.[8]

See also[]


  1. Michael McKinley, Hockey A People's History, McClelland & Stewart ltd 2006, pp 237–238.
  2. Michael McKinley, Hockey A People's History, McClelland & Stewart ltd 2006, pp 237–238.
  3. About Girls/Womens' (sic) Hockey
  4. Bylaw Divisions II and III Members—Classification of a Sport in Division I (PDF). 2010–11 NCAA Division I Manual. NCAA. Retrieved on October 6, 2010.
  5. Bylaw 20.8.2 Division II Options When No Division II Championship Is Conducted (PDF). 2010–11 NCAA Division I Manual. NCAA. Retrieved on October 6, 2010.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Boston, Tampa, Chicago, St. Paul get upcoming men’s Frozen Fours (December 11, 2013). Retrieved on December 11, 2013. “Women’s Frozen Fours were awarded to Minneapolis’ Ridder Arena in 2015 and 2018; the Whittemore Center Arena in Durham, N.H., in 2016; and the Family Arena in St. Charles, Mo., in 2017.”
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 "2019 - 2022 Future NC NCAA Championship Sites",, 2017-04-18. (en) 
  8. College hockey: Women's Frozen Four to air on Big Ten Network. Retrieved on 17 March 2017.
This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at NCAA Division I Women's Ice Hockey Championship. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Ice Hockey Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License 3.0 (Unported) (CC-BY-SA).