The 15th annual Ice Breaker Tournament will feature four of the most storied programs in NCAA men's hockey, including North Dakota and Boston College, currently the top two ranked teams in the country, as well as Michigan State and Air Force.
The 2011 Ice Breaker participants have combined to win 14 NCAA championships, led by UND's seven. Boston College has won four and Michigan State has won three.
"We are excited and honored to be able to bring such a prestigious collegiate hockey event to Grand Forks," said UND Athletics Director Brian Faison. "There were a lot of moving parts that had to align to make this happen, and I particularly want to thank Ralph Engelstad Arena General Manager Jody Hodgson and his staff for their efforts."
"It's fitting that we celebrate the start of the 2011 college hockey season at one of the crown jewels of the game, Ralph Engelstad Arena," said College Hockey, Inc. Executive Director Paul Kelly. "College Hockey, Inc. is confident that North Dakota will be an outstanding host for this special event that brings together four of the elite college hockey programs in the country."
Tournament ticket packages will go on sale to the general public on Friday, March 4 at 10 a.m. Packages are $70 (adult) and $40 (youth). Tickets may be purchase at the UND Box Office at Ralph Engelstad Arena, online at Ticketmaster.com, or by calling 1-800-745-3000.
UND men's hockey season ticket holders will have the ability to purchase their seats for the Ice Breaker at a discounted rate of $50 beginning today through April 12. Season ticket holders may purchase their seats by logging onto their ‘My Fighting Sioux Account' at www.fightingsioux.com or at the UND Box Office at Ralph Engelstad Arena.
Ticket packages are being held for UND students and will go on sale in the fall.
All seats are reserved.
UND has previously participated in the Ice Breaker Tournament in 2008-09 (Boston) and 2000-01 (Ann Arbor, Mich.). Michigan State, which won the inaugural Ice Breaker in 1997, will make its fourth appearance in the tournament. Boston College will also be making its fourth appearance, while Air Force will be making its second.
College Hockey, Inc. or the Hockey Commissioners Association (HCA), which represents the nation's five NCAA Division I ice hockey-playing conferences, have sponsored the Ice Breaker Tournament since its inception in 1997. College Hockey, Inc. was formed in 2009 by the HCA as the educational and marketing resource for Division I men's hockey.
UND Head Coach Dave Hakstol: "We are thrilled to have the opportunity to host this high caliber event. Fighting Sioux fans are the most passionate in hockey and they will have a chance to see four great games, between four programs steeped in tradition, for what will be the spotlight event to open the 2011-12 college hockey season."
AFA Head Coach Frank Serratore: "We are excited for the opportunity to participate in the Ice Breaker in Grand Forks. In addition to having a great field of teams, we have several players from the area who are looking forward to playing in front of family and friends. We also look forward to playing in front of the many service men and women stationed at Grand Forks Air Force Base, as well as the many retired military people in the area. Hopefully, they will all come out to Engelstad Arena and cheer on the Falcons."
BC Head Coach Jerry York: "This will be our fourth appearance in the Ice Breaker Tournament and we're very much looking forward to it. This particular tournament is of great interest to us because of the perennial national powers in the field. It's our distinct privilege to be a part of it and we look forward to the stern early-season test that it will provide for our team."
MSU Director of Athletics Mark Hollis: "We are thrilled to accept an invitation to participate in the 2011 Ice Breaker at North Dakota. This will add a pair of quality opponents to our 2011-12 schedule, and a big stage for our new coaching staff to usher in the next era of Michigan State hockey. North Dakota's facility is top-notch, and we know that the tournament will provide our student-athletes a fantastic experience."
~Ice Breaker Tournament History~
|Year||Host||Site||Field (Champion in bold)|
|1997||Wisconsin||Dane County Coliseum (Madison)||BU, Clarkson, Michigan State, Wisconsin|
|1998||Minnesota||Mariucci Arena (Minneapolis)||BC, Minnesota, Ohio State, St. Lawrence|
|1999||Denver||Magness Arena (Denver)||Denver, Notre Dame, Providence, Union|
|2000||Michigan||Yost Arena (Ann Arbor)||Colgate, Michigan, New Hampshire, North Dakota|
|2001||Maine||Alfond Arena (Orono)||Bowlling Green, Clarkson, Maine, St. Cloud State|
|2002||Wisconsin||Kohl Center (Madison)||BU, Northern Michigan, Rensselaer, Wisconsin|
|2003||Michigan State||Munn Arena (East Lansing)||BC, Findlay, Minnesota Duluth, Michigan State|
|2004||New Hampshire||Whittemore Center (Durham)||New Hampshire, Ohio State, St. Cloud State, St. Lawrence|
|2005||Colorado College||World Arena (Colorado Springs)||Air Force, Colorado College, Maine, Union|
|2006||Miami||Goggin Ice Arena (Oxford)||Colgate, Denver, Miami, Vermont|
|2007||Minnesota||Mariucci Arena (Minneapolis)||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||North Dakota||Ralph Engelstad Arena (Grand Forks)||Air Force, BC, Michigan State, North Dakota|