UNH Lands 2002 Women’s Frozen Four

The NCAA Women’s Ice Hockey Committee has picked the University of New Hampshire to host the second NCAA Women’s Frozen Four, in 2002, on campus at the 6,501-seat Whittemore Center.

The semifinal games will be played March 22, and the championship game is scheduled for March 24.

“We are delighted to have been chosen as the 2002 site for the NCAA Women’s Hockey Frozen Four,” said UNH athletic director Marty Scarano. “UNH is one of the nation’s ‘charter institutions’ in sponsoring women’s ice hockey and has a great tradition. We are justly proud of our hockey teams and the Whittemore Center. This will allow UNH to showcase its fine programs. We are sure the NCAA will find the ‘Whitt’ a fine venue to host this prestigious event.”

This year’s inaugural Women’s Frozen Four will be hosted by Minnesota at Mariucci Arena, March 23 & 25.

UNH reportedly beat out a bid by Yale.

“The awarding of the 2002 NCAA National Championship to UNH is a very proud moment for our women’s ice hockey program,” said UNH coach Karen Kay. “The tradition we’ve established, along with the outpouring of support we’ve received from the Seacoast community, has been instrumental to the success of UNH hockey and has made the Whittemore Center a special place to play for our student-athletes. I know that UNH hockey and the enitre state of New Hampshire will pull together to make this championship one that the NCAA will be very proud of.”

The Whittemore Center played host to the ECAC women’s hockey Championships in 1996 — the building’s opening season — when the Wildcats defeated Providence in the longest game in NCAA history. Brandy Fisher, who was named the winner of the 1998 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, scored in the fifth overtime to end the game with a win for the Wildcats.

New Hampshire owns the fourth-highest women’s hockey attendance in in the nation for the 2000-01 season. That number, however, does not include the 1,871 fans — the largest crowd ever for a women’s hockey game at the Whittemore Center — who witnessed the Feb. 10 exhibition game against the U.S. National Team.

Prior to the NCAA’s sponsorship of a national championship, the American Women’s College Hockey Alliance (AWCHA) crowned titleists in the 1998, 1999 and 2000 seasons. New Hampshire won the inaugural national championship in 1998 and advanced to the title game in 1999.

Tickets for the 2002 Women’s Frozen Four will become available on March 12 and can be obtained by calling TicketMaster at (603) 868-7300. Ticket prices for both sessions are $40 for adults, children and seniors and $20 for UNH students. Prices for single sessions are $20 for adults, children and seniors and $10 for UNH students.