HAMDEN, Conn. — Quinnipiac has one thing in mind for the teams that will play on its home rink in the 2014 women’s Frozen Four.
“Our primary goal for the four teams that we host is for them to walk away saying, ‘I couldn’t imagine a better experience,’” Bobcats coach Rick Seeley said. “They’ve earned the right to feel special and we are going to make them feel that way.”
On Thursday morning, Quinnipiac announced that it will host the national semifinals and final in 2014 at the High Point Solutions Arena.
“We are very proud and honored to be selected to host the Frozen Four for the first time in the state of Connecticut and for the fifth time in New England,” Quinnipiac athletic director Jack McDonald said.
The TD Bank Sports Center, which houses both the High Point Solutions Arena and the Lender Court, opened in 2007 as a multi-purpose arena for both basketball and hockey. The basketball arena and the hockey rink are separate from each other but are still in the same building.
“When Cassie Turner, my associate head coach, and I arrived at Quinnipiac four-and-a-half years ago we told every recruit that Quinnipiac is the best-kept secret out there,” Seeley said. “I think the secret is out.”
Attendance is always a concern for organizers. The NCAA women’s Frozen Four has been hosted in Minnesota six times since the championship began in 2001 and has been won by a WCHA team each time.
“I believe, without doing any homework, this is probably the most centrally located women’s Frozen Four. I think there are 20 Division I teams within five hours of us,” Seeley said. “So that will give us a great opportunity to fill those seats.”
The High Point Solutions Arena meets the NCAA requirements with 3,500 seats and plenty of standing room. In addition, McDonald plans on adding some stool seats on the concourse where the view is best on the railings.
In addition to great publicity for Quinnipiac, ECAC Hockey is excited to have a league school host women’s hockey’s biggest event.
“From a league standpoint this is great exposure for a member so the league will benefit from that,” ECAC commissioner Steve Hagwell said. “… The exposure for the league in hosting this event and for people in the women’s college hockey community to come to this facility and this campus to see what a jewel it is, I think that will be great.”
This year’s Frozen Four will be at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis on March 22 and 24.