The Erie Sports Commission (ESC) and Mercyhurst University, home to the Lakers’ Division I Ice Hockey, have been chosen to host the 2018 Ice Breaker Tournament. One of the premier NCAA Division I ice hockey tournaments in the nation, the event will be hosted at Erie Insurance Arena Oct. 12-13, 2018. Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) will serve as the event’s title sponsor.
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.
The Erie Sports Commission and Mercyhurst made the successful bid to host the four-team Division I men’s tournament, which marks a tough early test of some of the NCAA’s top championship contenders. The tournament will feature the University of Notre Dame, Providence College, Miami University and Mercyhurst University.
“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 College vs. Miami University on Friday, Oct. 12, at 4 p.m., followed by Notre Dame against Mercyhurst University 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, the traditional start to the college ice hockey season, 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 October 6-7, 2017.
Mercyhurst was previously invited to play in the 2013 Ice Breaker Tournament when it was hosted by the University of Minnesota. As host in 2018, Mercyhurst joins the ranks of hockey luminaries like the University of Wisconsin, University of Michigan and Boston University, all of which have hosted the tournament during its 20-year history.
“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.
For more information on the 2018 Ice Breaker Tournament, visit www.hurstathletics.com/icebreaker.
ERIE SPORTS COMMISSION: The Erie Sports Commission is committed to promoting the Erie region as a prime destination for sports and recreation. The major goals of the ESC are to attract, create, support, and host sporting and recreational events that have a positive economic impact on the region, and assist in maximizing the potential of all regional sports facilities and venues. The ESC strives to enhance the image of Erie by showcasing the community, promote wellness through healthy lifestyles, and improve the quality of life for community members of all ages. Read more at www.ErieSportsCommission.com.
MERCYHURST UNIVERSITY: Mercyhurst University, founded in 1926 by the Sisters of Mercy, is a fully accredited, four-year, Catholic comprehensive institution for men and women in Erie, Pennsylvania. The university offers more than 60 undergraduate majors, nine graduate programs, and a variety of post-baccalaureate and advanced certificates. In addition, Mercyhurst provides certificate and associate degree offerings at branch campuses in North East, Corry and the Booker T. Washington Center. It also maintains an academic center in Dungarvan, Ireland. Learn more at www.mercyhurst.edu.
COLLEGE HOCKEY INC: Formed in 2009 in partnership with USA Hockey, College Hockey Inc. is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting Division I men’s college hockey to prospective players and fans through extensive marketing and informational efforts. The entity is operated under the auspices of a 12-member Board of Directors and works closely with the commissioners, coaching staffs and administrators of the 60 programs and six conferences that sponsor NCAA Division I men’s hockey.