Arizona State, Boston College, Michigan Tech, Northern Michigan to play Las Vegas in Jan. 2018

ice_vegasThe inaugural Ice Vegas Invitational will take place Jan. 5-6, 2018, at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, home of the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights.

The four-team tournament will feature Arizona State, Boston College, Michigan Tech and Northern Michigan.

“Las Vegas is quickly transforming from a purely entertainment mecca to one of the world’s destination locations for sports as well,” said bd Global president Brooks Downing in a statement. “We are excited to partner with T-Mobile Arena to bring the best teams in college hockey to Las Vegas each year as the new era of hockey in the Valley begins this fall.”

The four teams in the field represent some of the best in college hockey with a combined nine national championships and 38 Frozen Four appearances. Boston College leads the pack with five national titles and a record 25 berths in the Frozen Four.

“We are always thrilled to showcase our program in new and exciting parts of the country against some of the top talent across the nation,” said BC coach Jerry York in a statement. “We are honored to be a part of this tournament and excited to get there.”

“We are very much looking forward to exposing the growing Vegas hockey market to NCAA Division I hockey,” added Arizona State coach Greg Powers. “Being the only Division I program in the Southwest, it is important for us to try and gain as much exposure in this region as possible. Top that with being able to play two games against other great programs in the new T-Mobile Arena, this tournament will certainly be one of our season’s highlights.”

Three-time national champion Michigan Tech and Northern Michigan (1991 national champion) will set aside their in-state rivalry to take part in the first-time event.

“We are honored to participate in the inaugural Ice Vegas Invitational,” Northern Michigan coach Grant Potulny said in a news release. “We look forward to bringing Northern Michigan hockey to Las Vegas and are excited for the opportunity to play at the state-of-the-art T-Mobile Arena. With the Wildcats, Arizona State, Boston College and Michigan Tech in the field, this tournament will give Las Vegas and the surrounding areas an exciting look at college hockey.”

“We’re excited to be in this tournament,” added Michigan Tech AD Suzanne Sanregret. “I know our players, fans and alumni are really looking forward to it. It’s great to be able to help grow college hockey out west with tournaments like this. We were fortunate to play in the Arizona State tournament a couple years ago and our alumni really came out to support the Huskies. I think we’ll have another good turnout in Las Vegas, and we’re excited to bring Michigan Tech Hockey to our alumni and fans in the West.”

More than 9,000 local fans recently attended a hockey “open house” at T-Mobile Arena and the NHL franchise has sold nearly 14,000 season tickets.


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  2. .
    with NMU and MTU on the bill, is this some kind for foreshadowing to ASU joining the WCHA?


  3. Why don’t they just save everybody the time and trouble and send the championship trophy to BC now?

    As an aside, ASU fans didn’t even bother to attend their own tournament last season, the Desert Classic, that featured ASU, Brown, UConn, and St. Cloud State.

    Total attendance for the ENTIRE event, held in an NHL arena that seats 17,125 for hockey? Try 1,967. Nope, that isn’t a typo. I submit that there is no real pent up demand for D-1 hockey at ASU.

    The statement in the article above, outside of BU, that “The four teams in the field represent some of the best in college hockey
    with a combined nine national championships and 38 Frozen Four
    appearances.” is laughable to say the least. BC obviously qualifies on that account but ASU has never won or done anything as a D-1 program. Northern Michigan has all of 2 NCAA appearances since ’92-’93 and a 427-409-99 record since then and Michigan Tech has 2 NCAA appearances since the ’80-’81 season and a 489-806-122 record since then. The only team with any real current cache’ in this deal is BC.

    It will be very interesting, indeed, to see how many fannies are in seats for this deal.

    • Tech has won their conference and made the NCAA tourney 2 of the last 3 years…throw in a 95 year history and I think you’re selling them short.

      Tech travels really well right now too. They’ve brought around 7000 fans to the GLI the past several years, more than Michigan or Michigan State. They also have a large and active alumni base in Colorado which could pretty easily make the trip over to Vegas for a weekend.

    • What a pity you actually have to play the games before awarding BC the trophy. The way BC fans travel, I’m sure they will have at least 100 people show up to support their team. That’s only if they can get away from the slots and blackjack tables.

      • I’m tempted to bet the under on that, but then again, one should never underestimate the urge to get out of New England for a weekend in January.


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