In This Post…
- NCAA Dead Period, Championship Attendance, Social Justice News
- Post-Season Tournament Time
- NCAA Weekly Polls…
There has been quite a bit of NCAA new over the past few weeks, so let’s get to it.
NCAA Dead Period Extended… The NCAA announced it would extend the temporary COVID recruiting dead period until May 31st. last week. You can read the official announcement HERE. As noted in the release, April 15 is the target date for the NCAA to give further guidance on the transition back to recruiting activities after June 1. If we had to guess, some kind of hybrid ‘quite’ and or ‘dead’ period model will be used. Meaning, we’ll probably see something like camps and clinics allowed first with in-person recruiting activities later in the summer. Unofficial and official visits may have to wait until the Fall.
Attendance Policy at NCAA Winter Championships Announced… The NCAA also announced it would allow 25% attendance for all its NCAA Winter sport championships – including the Women’s Frozen Four. This is as long as state and local authorities allow attendance at all. The WFF will be held in Erie, PA March 18-20 at Erie Insurance Arena home to the OHL’s Erie Otters. Capacity for hockey is listed at 6,716 and 25% would be 1,679. The NCAA’s announcement is HERE. We have yet to confirm if the WFF will have fans but if so, I would think 1,679 would be an easy number of tickets to sell out.
College Hockey Comes Together for Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion… A special group has formed representing every NCAA Division I women’s and men’s hockey conference in a new initiative called: College Hockey 4 Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion. On Feb. 11th Jennifer Flowers, WCHA Vice President, Women’s Commissioner and chair of CollegeHockey4DEI along with 26 other individuals representing student-athletes, coaches, and administrators announced their intentions to make a cultural change within college hockey to be more diverse, inclusive, and equitable. You can watch the press conference announcement HERE and for more information please go to CollegeHockey4DEI.com.
Post-Season Tournament Time…
Conference Post-Season Tournaments Set to Begin… Hockey East began its post-season tournament Thursday with a March Madness hoops tourney style ‘Opening Round Game’ between #9 Seed Holy Cross and #8 Seed UNH with the winner facing off vs. #1 Seed Northeastern on Sunday. You can checkout the Hockey East Tournament press release HERE for schedules and streaming information as well as bios on how each team did this year. The format calls for an opening round game Thursday evening followed by four quarter-final games Sunday Feb. 28 with 1 vs. 8, 2 vs. 7, 3 vs. 6, and 4 vs. 5. Winners moving on to the semi-final round held Wednesday March 3 with the championship game played Saturday March 6.
In the ECAC, just four teams have played conference games this season–Clarkson, Colgate, Quinnipiac, and St. Lawrence. #1 will host #4 and #2 will host #3 in the four-team semi-final format on March 5. The highest remaining seed will host the championship game Sunday March 7. Seedings are still to be determined as any team with the right combination of wins and help from other teams could claim the #1 seed and regular season ECAC title. You can read more on the tournament HERE.
In the College Hockey America, Mercyhurst University along with the Erie, PA Sports Commission will host the CHA’s annual postseason tournament March 4-6, 2021 at Erie Insurance Arena. You can read the official tournament announcement HERE for schedule and streaming info. The CHA still has one weekend left in their regular season which will determine the eventual tourney schedule. Erie Insurance Arena will be the site of the Women’s Frozen Four March 18-20.
Out west in the WCHA, the top four teams will travel to Ridder Arena on the campus of the University of Minnesota to play in the WCHA Final Faceoff March 6-7. This a departure from how the WCHA postseason playoffs usually work, where all eight teams made the field and the tournament was held over two weekends. You can read the WCHA official tournament announcement HERE. Wisconsin, MN-Duluth, Ohio State, and Minnesota round out the top four and meet next weekend in Minneapolis to crown the WCHA Champion.
NCAA Weekly Polls…
Weekly polls are out as of Feb. 22.
Patty Kaz Finalists Named… The 10 finalist for the 2021 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, given annually to the top D-I women’s player at the Frozen Four, were announced earlier this week. Wisconsin’s Daryl Watts and Clarkson’s Elizabeth Giguere, both past winners of the award, have been named finalists along with eight other players. Northeastern leads the field with three finalists. You can find the entire list HERE.
ESPN to Televise 2021 Frozen Four… In a major boost to expanding television coverage for D-I women’s college hockey and for our sports signature event the Women’s Frozen Four (WFF), ESPN has announced it has entered into a multi-year contract to broadcast the WFF held in Erie, PA on its family of networks beginning this year. You can read ESPN’s announcement HERE. ESPN3 the online streaming service will carry the first national semi-final while ESPNU, ESPN’s cable and satellite TV college sports provider, will carry the second semi-final as well as the championship game. While not the first time the WFF has been on a well know cable channel and streamed online, this however the first time the event will appear on a network with as much reach as ESPN has.
AHCA Naples Convention… The American Hockey Coaches Association is putting together options for its annual convention held in Naples, FL at the Naples Beach Hotel and Golf Resort. A virtual online event and or an in-person event at the resort could take place. Just about every D-I/D-III women’s and men’s program, support staff, school administrators, conferences, officials as well as junior/youth/minor hockey programs and hockey related companies are members. COVID cancelled the convention last year. This year holds a bit more sentiment as the Naples Beach Hotel and Golf Resort which has been home to the AHCA Convention for 30+ years, will be closing its doors and re-developing the property. The AHCA acts as the official NCAA hockey coaches association for all NCAA matters.
Until Next Time… Have a great weekend everyone!
-Streams for games in the ECAC can be found HERE. Subscriptions will be necessary to watch games in the ECAC.
-Streams in the WCHA can be found HERE for homes games at Bemidji, MSU-Mankato, MN-Duluth, and St. Cloud. Streams for home games at Minnesota, Ohio St., and Wisconsin can be found HERE. Subscriptions will be necessary to watch games in the WCHA.
Streams in Hockey East this year can be found HERE and all streams FREE of charge for the 20-21 season.