Ice Breaker Tournament


The annual Ice Breaker Tournament marks the traditional start to the college hockey season. Celebrating its 25th year in 2021-22, the Ice Breaker brings together four of the nation's top teams, typically from different conferences.

After the 2020 Ice Breaker Tournament was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021-22 season will feature a pair of events for the first time. In October, Holy Cross will host three other schools in Worcester, Mass., while three schools visit Minnesota Duluth in Duluth, Minn.

Ohio State captured the 2019 Ice Breaker title, topping Western Michigan and RIT on the way to the title. The Huntington Center in Toledo, Ohio, hosted the tournament for the first time.

A terrific opportunity to put the spotlight on college hockey just as the season gets underway, the Ice Breaker also provides a tough early season test for some NCAA championship contenders.

Fifteen schools have won an Ice Breaker title since Michigan State claimed the first one 25 years ago. Past Ice Breaker champions include Boston University (three times), Minnesota (three times), New Hampshire (twice), Boston College (twice), Notre Dame (twice), Air Force, Colorado College, Denver, Michigan State, Michigan Tech, North Dakota, Ohio State, Omaha, St. Cloud State and Vermont.

The event has taken place at a mix of on- and off-campus sites, visiting top venues such as Xcel Energy Center (St. Paul), Scottrade Center (St. Louis) and Kohl Center (Madison, Wis.).

In 2021, Duluth’s AMSOIL Arena will host the Ice Breaker for the second time in five years, while the event returns to New England for the first time since 2015. Between the two events, three of the participating schools have won a national championship in the past, combining for 14 titles between them.

Ice Breaker Tournament History

Year Host Site Field (Champion in Boldface)
1997 University of Wisconsin Dane County Coliseum (Madison) BU, Clarkson, Michigan State, Wisconsin
1998 University of Minnesota Mariucci (Minneapolis) BC, Minnesota, Ohio State, St. Lawrence
1999 University of Denver Magness Arena (Denver) Denver, Notre Dame, Providence, Union
2000 University of Michigan Yost Arena (Ann Arbor) Colgate, Michigan, New Hampshire, North Dakota
2001 University of Maine Alfond Arena (Orono) Bowling Green, Clarkson, Maine, St. Cloud
2002 University of Wisconsin Kohl Center (Madison) BU, Northern Michigan, Rensselaer, Wisconsin
2003 Michigan State University Munn Arena (East Lansing) BC, Findlay, Minnesota-Duluth, Michigan State
2004 New Hampshire Whittemore Center (Durham) New Hampshire, Ohio St., St. Cloud, St. Lawrence
2005 Colorado College World Arena (Colorado Springs) Air Force, Colorado College, Maine, Union
2006 Miami University Goggin Ice Arena (Oxford) Colgate, Denver, Miami, Vermont
2007 University of Minnesota Xcel Energy Center (St. Paul) BC, Michigan, Minnesota, Rensselaer
2008 Boston University Agganis Arena (Boston) BU, UMass, Michigan State, North Dakota
2009 Nebraska-Omaha Qwest Center (Omaha) Army, UMass Lowell, Nebraska-Omaha, St. Lawrence
2010 St. Louis Sports Commission Scottrade Center (St. Louis) BU, Holy Cross, Notre Dame, Wisconsin
2011 University of North Dakota Ralph Engelstad Arena (Grand Forks) Air Force, BC, Michigan State, North Dakota
2012 Kansas City Sports Commission Sprint Center (Kansas City) Army, Maine, Nebraska-Omaha, Notre Dame
2013 University of Minnesota Mariucci Arena (Minneapolis) Clarkson, Mercyhurst, Minnesota, New Hampshire
2014 University of Notre Dame Compton Family Ice Arena (South Bend) Minnesota, Minnesota Duluth, Notre Dame, Rensselaer
2015 University of Maine Cumberland County Civic Center (Portland) Lake Superior State, Maine, Michigan State, North Dakota
2016 University of Denver Magness Arena (Denver) Denver, Air Force, Boston College, Ohio State
2017 University of Minnesota Duluth AMSOIL Arena (Duluth) Michigan Tech, Minnesota, Minnesota Duluth, Union
2018 Mercyhurst University Erie Insurance Arena (Erie) Mercyhurst, Miami, Notre Dame, Providence
2019 Bowling Green State University Huntington Center (Toledo) Bowling Green, Ohio State, RIT, Western Michigan
2020 Postponed: COVID-19
2021 College of the Holy Cross Luth Athletic Complex (Worcester) Boston College, Holy Cross, Northeastern, Quinnipiac
2021 University of Minnesota Duluth AMSOIL Arena (Duluth) Michigan, Minnesota Duluth, Minnesota State, Providence