Saturday, March 23, 2013
The WCHA (see it's "powerful" new, players first logo at right) announced that it will indeed play next year's Final Five at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Mich., and rotate that event between there and the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul over the next four years. Van Andel Arena is an 11,000-seat venue that has hosted several NCAA hockey regionals, including next week's (perhaps Minnesota State will wind up there, and I'll be able to give a scouting report). So the championship weekend will be in Grand Rapids in 2014 and '16 and in St. Paul in 2015 and '17, with the Big Ten getting the X in '14 and '16 and going to Detroit in '15 and '17.
Commissioner Bruce McLeod also announced the format for the tournament, which includes the ninth- and 10th-place teams in the conference missing the postseason, and praised the two Alaska schools and Alabama-Huntsville for stepping up financially to help scrap that dreadful "Alaska plan."
Meanwhile, the yet-to-be-named all-Minnesota tournament was also announced. The event will be held at the Xcel Energy Center Jan. 24-25 and will feature Minnesota, Minnesota State, Minnesota Duluth and St. Cloud State in the inaugural event. Bemidji State wil rotate in the following year. There weren't many other details announced, including the name. A contest will be held to name the tournament later this year. Any suggestions?
One more news item from the press conferences: Gophers coach Don Lucia was named head coach for next year's U.S. World Junior Championship team. St. Cloud State's Bob Motzko will be one of the assistants.
Posted by Shane Frederick at 6:19 PM