College Hockey Inc.
Men's Notes: More Positive Attendance Trends in College Hockey
ASU’s Power-Play Weapon, McLellan’s Turnaround, and More

More than 10,000 fans watched RIT’s Homecoming Game against Notre Dame (Photo: Evie Linantud).

The first half of the NCAA Division I men’s hockey season was another successful one at the turnstiles.

College Hockey Inc. studied attendance figures for the 62 men’s programs that have participated in each of the last two seasons and found that 58 percent of those schools have experienced an increase in average attendance from 2022-23.

Additionally, 22 of the 62 teams have enjoyed an attendance increase of at least 10 percent.

Boston College leads the way with an increase of 1,911 fans per game, while Holy Cross has seen the largest percentage increase (90.1) from 2022-23.

North Dakota boasts the highest average attendance in 2023-24, with an average of 11,637 fans visiting Ralph Engelstad Arena. Minnesota (9,699), Wisconsin (8,847), Boston College (6,953) and Omaha (6,677) round out the top five.

Last season, NCAA Division I men’s hockey average attendance was up 15 percent nationwide from the 2021-22 campaign.

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Must Read:

Bangor Daily News: UMaine freshman forward making most of unexpected opportunity
Boston Globe: Boston College trio key United States comeback at World Juniors
Boston Globe: Maine men’s hockey seems to be hitting its stride under coach Ben Barr
College Hockey News: Cornell again leading with its ‘D’
College Hockey News: College hockey intrigue
Daily Gazette: RPI goalie Watson wins twice in return from injury
Grand Forks Herald: Former Grand Forks Central captain Lawson-Body returns home with Nanooks
USCHO: UConn ‘gaining momentum,’ Huskies looking for more consistency during second half of season
USCHO: Looking back on first half, looking forward to second half, including new playoff format
USCHO: With GLI win closing out 2023, Michigan Tech ‘driving to get better’ in 2024
USCHO: Streak still alive with Holiday Face-Off victories as Badgers excelling with team-first mentality

Must Hear:

CHN Insiders Podcast: Featuring NCHC Commissioner Heather Weems
College Hockey Today: Brad Schlossman reveals his surprise teams of the first half in each conference
Inside Atlantic Hockey: Featuring College Hockey News’ Anthony Travalgia
Inside ECAC Hockey: Featuring Clarkson Head Coach Casey Jones
Inside Hockey East: Featuring Vermont senior G Gabe Carriere
NCHC Icecast: SCSU sweeps in nonconference series, Miami splits, UMD goes 1-1 over the weekend
The Big Rink: Wisconsin’s Simon Tassy joins the show after his big week
The CCHA Show: Featuring Jared Rubado (Bemidji Pioneer) and Trent Singer (The Rink Live)
USCHO Weekend Review: Holiday tourney wrap-up, where NCAA numbers stand mid-season

Must Watch: Boston College and Boston University lead latest men’s hockey Power 5

NCAA Hockey on TSN:

TSN and College Hockey Inc. announced this week the addition of 30 NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey games to TSN’s broadcast schedule in January, including 15 men’s contests. Thirteen of those 15 men’s games will be streamed live on TSN+ while two others will air nationally on TSN’s television feeds.

Click HERE for more information, and click HERE for TSN’s entire 2023-24 NCAA Division I hockey schedule to date.

Kopperud? More Like KoPPerud:

Arizona State senior F Matthew Kopperud (Denver, Colo.) scored his NCAA-leading 10th power-play goal of the season in Saturday’s 2-2 tie with Cornell. Nearly two-thirds of Kopperud’s career goals at ASU (34 of 53) have come with the man advantage.

Kopperud’s 34 career power-play tallies are the most among active NCAA Division I men’s players and 10 more than the next-closest skater, Notre Dame fifth-year F Patrick Moynihan (Millis, Mass.).

Gellin’ like McClellan:

Last season at Wisconsin, his first with the Badgers after two stellar years at Mercyhurst, netminder Kyle McClellan (Sr., Manchester, Mo.) struggled in his 12 appearances, logging a 3.57 goals against average and .883 save percentage. The latter was in stark contrast to the .932 mark he posted in each of his two years at Mercyhurst.

But McClellan has rebounded in a big way in 2023-24, going 14-4-0 in 18 outings with a 1.62 GAA and .939 save percentage. He also leads the country with five shutouts after posting back-to-back clean sheets last weekend at UW’s Kwik Trip Holiday Face-Off in Milwaukee. McLellan and the Badgers blanked Air Force and Northeastern and remain the nation’s stingiest defensive team, yielding just 1.6 goals per game.

"I think it's just [the team's] commitment,” McLellan told “All season we've had defensemen and forwards step up and block shots that I can't see. It's just an all-around team effort, and I'm glad that they're able to step up and make some big-time blocks.”

UW is riding a seven-game winning streak and heads to Notre Dame for a Big Ten series this weekend.

Fit to Print:

“It took the first period to kind of settle in and just realize, ‘Hey, you’ve done this a bunch of times before. It's nothing new here.’”

-- RPI junior G Jack Watson (Toronto, Ontario), who returned from a two-month injury absence to earn back-to-back wins last weekend at Canisius. Watson stopped 61 of 65 shots in the series (source: The Daily Gazette)

NHL Note of the Week:

Eight college hockey alumni were among the first 32 players named to the 2024 NHL All-Star Game on Thursday evening: Vegas C Jack Eichel (Boston University, 2014-15), Winnipeg G Connor Hellebuyck (UMass Lowell, 2012-14), Vancouver D Quinn Hughes (Michigan, 2017-19), Arizona RW Clayton Keller (Boston University, 2016-17), Dallas G Jake Oettinger (Boston University, 2016-19), Los Angeles G Cam Talbot (Alabama-Huntsville, 2007-10), Ottawa LW Brady Tkachuk (Boston University, 2017-18), and Anaheim RW Frank Vatrano (UMass, 2013-15).

Oettinger and Vatrano were both first-time selections.

The final 12 all-stars will be selected by fans through online voting. The 2024 NHL All-Star Game is scheduled for Feb. 3 in Toronto.

NHL Note of the Week II:

With his next game played, Dallas D Ryan Suter (Wisconsin, 2003-04) will reach 1,400 for his NHL career. He will become the fifth NCAA alumni and the third ex-Badger to reach that milestone:

Most NHL GP by NCAA Alumni:
1. Chris Chelios, Wisconsin (1981-83) – 1,651
2. Matt Cullen, St. Cloud State (1995-97) – 1,516
3. Rod Brind’Amour, Michigan State (1988-89) – 1,484
4. Scott Mellanby, Wisconsin (1984-86) – 1,431
5. Ryan Suter, Wisconsin (2003-04) – 1,399

Suter is on track to play in career game No. 1,400 on Saturday against Nashville, the team that drafted him seventh overall in 2003 and with which he spent his first seven NHL seasons.

Fries at the Bottom of the Bag:

Maine (12-3-1, 5-2-1 Hockey East) sits atop the PairWise rankings after a perfect 6-0-0 month of December. The Black Bears capped off the month by defeating RIT and Dartmouth to capture the Ledyard Bank Classic last weekend in Hanover, N.H. … Maine freshman F Josh Nadeau (St-François-de-Madawaska, New Brunswick) and Denver freshman D Zeev Buium (Laguna Niguel, Calif.) are both riding 12-game point streaks, tying Merrimack’s Matt Copponi for the nation’s longest this season. Copponi put his together from Oct. 14 to Nov. 25 … Michigan Tech fifth-year G and CCHA Goaltender of the Month Blake Pietila (Howell, Mich.) stopped a career-high 54 shots Saturday in a 2-2 overtime tie Friday against No. 7 Michigan State in the Great Lakes Invitational. Pietila and the Huskies went on to win the shootout, giving MTU its 12th GLI crown … Miami equipment manager Andy Geshan worked his 1,000th career game for the RedHawks last Saturday against Niagara. A 1988 graduate of Miami, Geshan joined the athletics department in 1995.

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Did you know? 92% of NCAA Division I men’s hockey players earn their degree!