Minnesota to Host 2013 Ice Breaker
The 2013 Ice Breaker Tournament, the traditional start to the college hockey season, will take place Oct. 11-12 at Mariucci Arena in Minneapolis, Minn., and feature Minnesota, Clarkson, Mercyhurst and New Hampshire.
College Hockey Inc., which manages the event on behalf of the Hockey Commissioners Association, will partner with the University of Minnesota to host the event, which is in its 17th year in 2013.
“Next year will be the beginning of a new era for the Gopher hockey program, and we’re excited to open the season at Mariucci Arena with the Ice Breaker Tournament,” Minnesota head coach Don Lucia said. “It’s a great event for college hockey as a whole, and considering we haven’t seen these teams for a few years, I think it will be an exciting weekend for our program as well as our fans.”
“Mariucci Arena is one of the best venues in college hockey and a terrific location to celebrate the start of the 2013-14 season,” College Hockey Inc. Executive Director Mike Snee said. “The four participating programs have storied histories, outstanding coaches and talented student-athletes who will showcase our sport in the Ice Breaker.”
The four schools in the 2013 field have combined for 89 NCAA Tournament appearances, with both Minnesota and New Hampshire coming off trips to the national tournament. The field will feature representatives from the Big Ten, Atlantic Hockey, ECAC Hockey and Hockey East.
Ice Breaker Tournament tickets will be included in season-ticket packages for Minnesota season-ticket holders. Single-day and standing-room tickets will be available at a date to be determined.
Minnesota is hosting the Ice Breaker Tournament for the third time and appearing in the event for the third time. In 1998, the second year of the tournament, Boston College won the title at Mariucci Arena. In 2007 the event took place at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, with the host Golden Gophers winning the tournament.
Clarkson and New Hampshire are each making their third Ice Breaker appearances, with UNH capturing championships in both previous appearances (2000 at Michigan, 2004 at UNH). Clarkson was part of the first Ice Breaker Tournament, in 1997, and in 2001 at Maine. Mercyhurst will be making its first Ice Breaker appearance.
Clarkson head coach Casey Jones: “We are very excited about opening our 2013-14 season at college hockey’s prestigious Ice Breaker Tournament. I have had the opportunity to coach in Mariucci Arena before and look forward to my players having the experience of playing against great competition in a great college hockey venue.”
Mercyhurst head coach Rick Gotkin: “We are extremely excited to be invited to participate in the 2013 Ice Breaker. It certainly is one of the most prestigious tournaments in the country for Division I hockey and we are humbled to have an opportunity to play in such an event. To be in a field with such great programs is very special to us and to play in a great venue like Mariucci Arena will be a tremendous experience for our team and will be one of the highlights of our program’s history.”
New Hampshire head coach Dick Umile: “UNH is thrilled to open the 2013-14 season at the Ice Breaker Tournament in Minnesota. Our team is excited to participate in one of college hockey's great tournaments in a venue like Mariucci Arena in Minneapolis. It will be a great opportunity to compete against three fellow hockey-rich traditions and some of the most well-respected teams in college hockey. Needless to say we are excited.”