The Ice Breaker Cup, a new season-opening college hockey tournament, debuts at the Rosemont Horizon in Chicago next October.
The tournament will feature four Division I teams, one from each of the four major conferences,in a single-elimination competition on Oct. 11-12, the first weekend of the NCAA college hockey season.
“The Ice Breaker Cup is a great new event for everyone associated with college hockey,” said Bruce McLeod, commissioner of the WCHA, which is hosting the tourney.
“The tournament is a super kick-start for our athletes and our fans. Best of all, the tournament is an opportunity to showcase the college game in Chicago, an important national media market and hotbed of amateur hockey.”
The inaugural event will pit the Wisconsin against Clarkson, and Michigan State against Boston University in the first round. The winners will play a championship the next day, preceded by a third-place game.
It is anticipated that the tournament will receive a once-in-four-years exemption from the NCAA to allow teams to participate without counting the games against their 34-game maximum. Over a four year period, 16 different teams could each take advantage of the exemption once.
This year’s event is being co-promoted by the Horizon, a 17,250-seat venue which houses the IHL’s Chicago Wolves, and KemperLesnik Communications, promoter of college basketball’s Maui Invitational and golf’s Kemper Open.