Big Ten announces Men's Hockey Tourney Sites

Men’s hockey will become an official Big Ten sport in the 2013-14 academic year, so with that in mind, the Big Ten Conference office announced Thursday that its tournaments will be held at Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, Minn., in 2014 and 2016, and at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Mich., in 2015 and 2017.

The inaugural Big Ten Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament will be held March 20-22, 2014, at Xcel Energy Center. The tournament moves to Joe Louis Arena the following year and will be held March 19-21, 2015, and March 16-18, 2017, in Detroit.  The 2016 event will return to Saint Paul and be held March 17-19.

All six Big Ten teams — Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State, Penn State and Wisconsin — will play in the single-elimination tournament. Thursday’s quarterfinals will feature the No. 3 seed facing the No. 6 seed and the No. 4 seed battling the No. 5 seed. The top two seeds will open tournament play in the Friday semifinals, with the No. 1 seed against either the No. 4 or 5 seed and the No. 2 seed facing the No. 3 or 6 seed. The championship game will be held on Saturday.

In June of 2011, the Big Ten Council of Presidents/Chancellors established men’s ice hockey as an official conference sport beginning with the 2013-14 academic year, including the institution of the Big Ten Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament, with the winner earning the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Championship, and a 20-game conference schedule with each team playing the other five schools four times.

About Xcel Energy Center

Regarded as one of the finest arenas in the world, Xcel Energy Center is home to the NHL’s Minnesota Wild, the NLL’s Minnesota Swarm and a multitude of premier sports and entertainment events annually. The one-of-a-kind, multi-purpose facility is located in the heart of downtown Saint Paul, owned by the City of Saint Paul and managed by the Saint Paul Arena Company, an affiliate of Minnesota Sports & Entertainment. For more information, visit www.xcelenergycenter.com.

About Joe Louis Arena

Joe Louis Arena is operated by Olympia Entertainment, a Detroit-based company owned by entrepreneurs Michael and Marian Ilitch.  Olympia Entertainment is one of the country’s most diverse sport and entertainment companies and the largest organization of its kind in the mid-west. In addition to booking and operating Joe Louis Arena, the company owns and operates Detroit’s Fox Theatre, the intimate City Theatre and books Comerica Park. Olympia Entertainment also handles business operations for the Detroit Red Wings, an Original Six member of the National Hockey League and collaborates with the Detroit Tigers baseball franchise and other Ilitch companies.

Other Ilitch companies include: Little Caesars Pizza, Ilitch Holdings, Inc., Blue Line Foodservice Distribution, Champion Foods, the Detroit Red Wings, Little Caesar Pizza Kits Fundraising Program, Olympia Development and Uptown Entertainment. Additionally, Michael Ilitch owns the Detroit Tigers, Inc., and Marian Ilitch owns MotorCity Casino Hotel.  To learn more about Olympia Entertainment, visit www.olympiaentertainment.com. Also follow Olympia on Twitter @OEontheGo and at facebook.com/officialolympiaentertainment.

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aroznowski on 4/19/2012 @ 6:00pm EST Said:

I can’t wait for the official start of Big Ten hockey in the fall of 2013! Hopefully the Gophers will be able to win the inaugural Big Ten Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament right in their own backyard!

Greg Humphrey on 4/20/2012 @ 2:33am EST Said:

GO PENN STATE!! We are a Team on a Mission…

eswanson on 1/3/2013 @ 2:51pm EST Said:

Too bad that the Gophers will have to leave the best college hockey conference ever to play against a bunch of football schools. Minnesota fans will suffer with the Gophers losing their traditional rivals playing in packed arenas on a TV network that views hockey as a sideshow not the main event.