The NCAA held its inaugural Men’s Ice Hockey Championship tournament in 1948. The tournament was originally a one-game series with four teams, but now the tournament starts with 16 teams representing four regional areas. This seeded tournament represents the best up-and-coming players from around the world and attracts the attention of fans and scouts alike.

Quick Numbers:

  • There are six conferences in NCAA Division I ice hockey.
  • 16 teams compete in the single elimination tournament.
  • 60 NCAA institutions sponsor men’s hockey at the Division I Level.
  • 1,800 athletes have the opportunity to compete in Division I hockey for men.

Format History

For the first 28 years, from 1948 to 1976, the Division I tournament was played by the top four teams in a one-game series. For the next four years, the tournament grew to include five or six teams in the same one-game series format. In 1981, the tournament changed to a two-game series with eight teams competing. 1988 brought four more teams into the lineup, for a 12-team matchup in a two-game series. From 1989 to 1991, the tournament changed to a “best of three” format.

In 1992, the tournament began dividing teams into two regional competitions: East and West. This format lasted for 10 years. The name “The Frozen Four” was coined in 1999 and refers to the final four games of the series. In 2003, the tournament landed in its present format, representing four regional areas: Northeast, East, Midwest and West, with four teams from each region competing in a single elimination bracket format.

Venue History

The first 10 championships were held at Broadmoor Ice Palace in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Broadmoor was the home to the Colorado College Tigers, who won the third and 10th championship titles in 1950 and 1957, respectively. Providence Civic Center in Rhode Island held the second most championship games. Other top sites for the Frozen Four include:

  • Boston Garden
  • University of Denver
  • Joe Louis Arena
  • St. Paul Civic Center
  • Bradley Center in Milwaukee

Team History

So far, no team has won 10 NCAA Division I championship titles. Michigan is the closest to taking the record, sitting at nine wins, but the team’s last title was two decades ago in 1998. Denver and North Dakota are tied for second place in titles at eight, and Wisconsin comes in at third with six championships. Other top teams include:

  • Boston College, Boston University and Minnesota: 5 each
  • Lake Superior State, Michigan State and Michigan Tech: 3 each
  • Colorado College, Cornell, Maine and Rensselaer: 2 each

2018 Update:

The 2018 NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Championships┬áhas already commenced with the semi-finals being played on April 5th at the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul.

Semifinal #1: The University of Minnesota Duluth goes against Ohio State starting at 6pm (EST) on ESPN2
Semifinal #2: The University of Michigan versus Notre Dame with a start time of 9:30pm (EST) on ESPN2

The Championship Game is scheduled for Sunday night at 7:30pm on ESPN

Who will claim the top spot this year?

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