After serving as the most recognizable voice associated with the NCHC since its inaugural season, Ben Holden has been named as the recipient of the 2021 NCHC Media Excellence Award.
Holden was behind the microphone for the NCHC’s first-ever conference game on Oct. 18, 2013 when Miami and North Dakota played in Oxford, Ohio, and served as the lead play-by-play announcer for NCHC games on CBS Sports Network in the conference’s first seven seasons.
The Holt, Mich., native was on the call for the first six Frozen Faceoffs, including Minnesota Duluth’s memorable double-overtime game-winner in 2019 at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn.
“The NCHC’s brand has been synonymous with Ben Holden’s voice since the conference’s first season,” said NCHC commissioner Josh Fenton in a news release. “The membership and conference staff are honored to present the Media Excellence Award to Ben for all his contributions to the NCHC.”
This season, Holden worked more than 20 conference games at the NCHC pod in Omaha, Neb., in December as a play-by-play announcer for Midco Sports Network and NCHC.tv.
In addition to his announcing duties, Holden has emceed all six of the NCHC’s annual awards celebrations in Minneapolis and St. Paul (2014-19). He has also attended numerous pre-season NCHC Media Days in the Twin Cities to conduct interviews with coaches and student-athletes for CBS Sports Network.
Lastly, Holden has lent his voice for various NCHC promotions and commercials used on both radio and television over the conference’s first eight seasons.
Aside from his work with the NCHC, Holden has been calling college hockey, along with several other collegiate sports, for nearly two decades for various networks, including CBS Sports Network, ESPN, Comcast SportsNet, Fox Sports Detroit and Big Ten Network.
He has also worked several men’s NCAA hockey tournaments for ESPN, including the West Regional this year. Holden previously called the NHL’s Stanley Cup Final for NHL International in 2008 and served as the voice of the Lake Erie Monsters in the AHL. He won a pair of Emmy Awards in 2007 and 2008.
Holden was presented his NCHC Media Excellence Award in person on Saturday, March 27 by NCHC staff at the NCAA West Regional in Loveland, Colo.
The award is selected by the conference’s sports information directors.
Holden is the fourth winner of the NCHC Media Excellence Award, joining Brad Schlossman of the Grand Forks Herald (2018), Mick Hatten of Forum Communications (2019), and Holden’s former broadcast partner on CBS Sports Network, Dave Starman (2020).