North Dakota, Boston College to Meet on Garden Ice
17 Jul, 2015
The two winningest college hockey teams of the last decade are planning a big show on Broadway.
North Dakota and Boston College are putting finishing touches on scheduling a U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Game in New York City's famed Madison Square Garden during the 2016-17 season.
The game is tentatively scheduled for Dec. 3, 2016. An announcement is expected in the fall when the details are finalized.
It is being put together by the schools with the oversight of their conferences and College Hockey Inc.
National Collegiate Hockey Conference commissioner Josh Fenton was in New York City last week.
The marquee game continues a recent scheduling trend by UND to try to play one unique, showcase game per season. In previous years, UND has played games in Vancouver and Winnipeg in addition to an outdoor game in Omaha, Neb., at the home of the College World Series.
The Boston College matchup will be the biggest one of all.
The teams rank 1-2 nationally in both wins (UND 264, Boston College 261) and Frozen Four appearances (UND six, Boston College six) in the last decade. They've frequently met on the big stage, playing in the NCAA tournament four times in the last 11 years, three of them in the Frozen Four.
Madison Square Garden, located near Times Square in Manhattan, is the home of the New York Rangers, New York Knicks and plays host to many big concerts. It has also hosted college hockey games.
Boston University and Cornell played in MSG in 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013, selling it out each time.
North Dakota and Boston College are expected to bring a big crowd, too. Although North Dakota is far from New York City, it has the biggest traveling fan base in college hockey and fans will show up for big events like showcase games and Frozen Fours.
Boston College has a strong alumni base in New York.
UND has never before played a game in New York City. It's last game in New York state came in Jan. 2010 against Cornell in Ithaca, N.Y.
In addition to playing the U.S. Hall of Fame Game in Madison Square Garden, UND has secured the right to host several Hall of Fame Games in a row. The others are expected to be played in Ralph Engelstad Arena.
UND has traditionally been a big advocate for playing in the Hall of Fame Game, largely because of its exempt status. College hockey teams are allowed to play 34 regular-season games. The Hall of Fame Game, the Ice Breaker Invitational and games in Alaska are exempt and don't count against the 34-game limit.
UND also hosted U.S. Hall of Fame Games in 2014, 2007 and 2003. It played in a Hall of Fame Game in 2010 in Duluth, too.
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