College Hockey Inc. and the Hockey Commissioners Association have selected the Erie Sports Commission and Mercyhurst University as the hosts of the 2018 Ice Breaker Tournament. The traditional start to the college hockey season will be held Oct. 12-13, 2018, at Erie Insurance Arena in Erie, Pa.
The joint announcement by Mercyhurst, the Erie Sports Commission and College Hockey Inc. was made Thursday, Sept. 14, during a 3 p.m. press conference in the university’s student union. Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) will serve as the event’s title sponsor.
The tournament will feature Notre Dame, Providence, Miami and Mercyhurst.
“Erie is home to a robust sports community and certainly Mercyhurst University’s Division I Lakers are a big part of that landscape,” said Mercyhurst President Michael Victor. “That we are able to host this tournament and provide our city’s fans the opportunity to see college hockey at its best, not to mention bring scores of visitors to our city, is absolutely thrilling.”
“By awarding its Ice Breaker Tournament to Erie, Pennsylvania, College Hockey Inc. and the Hockey Commissioners Association are proving what we have known to be true: that Erie is a great hockey city,” said ESC Executive Director Ron Sertz. “Along with our partners at Mercyhurst, I think we have put together a tournament that fans are really going to enjoy. We are sincerely honored to have been chosen to host this monumental tournament, and proud to have a high-profile sponsor such as LECOM supporting us.”
“We are excited to partner with College Hockey Inc., the Hockey Commissioners Association, Mercyhurst University and the Erie Sports Commission to bring the 2018 Ice Breaker Tournament to Erie as part of our mission to encourage health and wellness,” said LECOM President John M. Ferretti, D.O. “There is no better way to highlight wellness than to support the student athletes, who, like our students, put tremendous effort into achieving their goals.”
The tournament will kick off with Providence vs. Miami on Friday, Oct. 12, at 4 p.m., followed by Notre Dame against Mercyhurst at 7:30 p.m. Saturday will feature the consolation game at 4 p.m., followed by the tournament championship at 7:30 p.m.
The Ice Breaker Tournament annually brings together four of the nation’s top teams from four different conferences. The event is hosted by College Hockey Inc. and the Hockey Commissioners Association and began in 1997.
The 2017 Ice Breaker Tournament will be hosted by the University of Minnesota Duluth Oct. 6-7.
“This is truly an honor for us, especially as the first member of Atlantic Hockey to host the Ice Breaker,” said Mercyhurst men’s ice hockey head coach Rick Gotkin. “It is a very prestigious event when you can host Notre Dame, Providence, Miami and Mercyhurst, and bring them together in a spectacular facility like the Erie Insurance Arena. It’s going to be a great weekend.”
“We are very excited to start the 2018-19 men’s NCAA hockey season in Erie,” said College Hockey Inc. Executive Director Mike Snee. “The Ice Breaker Tournament will be a perfect way to celebrate over 30 years of college hockey at Mercyhurst University. It will also be a unique opportunity for fans in northwestern Pennsylvania to see some intriguing schools that don’t make regular visits to Erie.”
Tickets to the 2018 Ice Breaker Tournament, presented by LECOM, will be available for purchase Thursday, November 22 through the Erie Insurance Arena box office. Weekend passes can be purchased for $49 and provide access to all four games. Day passes will go on sale at a later date.