NCHC announces changes to postseason tournament format

NCHC announces changes to postseason tournament format
Posted at 10:16 PM, Feb 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-10 00:16:25-05

COLORADO SPRINGS — On Monday, the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) announced changes to their postseason tournament format.

The NCHC's tournament, the 'Frozen Faceoff', will be moved to Grand Forks, N.D.

The tournament will still take place from March 12-16, but will take place at the University of North Dakota’s Ralph Engelstad Arena and will be a single-elimination format.

The quarterfinals will occur on Friday and Saturday, March 12-13, while the semifinals and championship will take place on Monday, March 15 and Tuesday, March 16, respectively.

No third-place game will occur.

“Due to continued challenges with COVID-19, we are forced to alter the structure and location of the 2021 NCHC Tournament. Circumstances surrounding travel, testing, and fan attendance made the traditional format difficult to complete,” NCHC Commissioner Josh Fenton said. “We are disappointed that we will not be able to culminate the season at Xcel Energy Center, but look forward to bringing one of college hockey’s best tournament experiences back to Saint Paul in 2022.

“We are very grateful to the University of North Dakota and Ralph Engelstad Arena for their willingness to host this unique tournament structure. We look forward to bringing exciting NCHC action to Grand Forks this March!”

The new 2021 NCHC Tournament format replaces the traditional playoff format the NCHC has used its first seven seasons, which consisted of best-of-three quarterfinal series on campus sites and the Frozen Faceoff at Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, Minn.

Fan attendance will be permitted on a limited basis, in accordance with university, local and state health guidelines. Ticket information, including pricing and availability, for the 2021 NCHC Tournament will be announced at a later date.

Seeding for the NCHC Tournament will be based on the final NCHC regular-season standings.

Currently, Colorado College hockey sits in 7th place, but has yet to play a game in two weeks due to a COVID-19 outbreak within the team.