Ice Breaker Tournament coming to Duluth 2017


College hockey's signature opening weekend event -- the Ice Breaker Tournament -- will be coming to AMSOIL Arena in 2017 with the University of Minnesota Duluth serving as the host.

"We are extremely excited and honored to host the 2017 Ice Breaker Tournament," said UMD athletic director Josh Berlo.  "This tournament will place UMD at the forefront of the men's college hockey world for the start of the 2017 season.  We couldn't be prouder to host and wish to express our appreciation to College Hockey Inc., the Hockey Commissioners Association and our partners -- Holiday Station Stores, Essentia Health, and Visit Duluth -- for helping making this happen.  In addition, this tournament will bring four additional games (2 UMD home games) and positive economic activity to Duluth."

The Ice Breaker Tournament traditionally brings together four of the nation's top teams -- each from a different conference -- and the 21st annual tourney should be no exception as the Bulldogs of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference will be joined by a pair of long-time rivals in the University of Minnesota (Big Ten) and Michigan Tech University (Western Collegiate Hockey Association) and 2014 NCAA champion Union College (Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference). The first round matchups, set for Oct. 6, 2017 have Michigan Tech taking on Union at 4 pm. with UMD and Minnesota facing off in the 7:30p.m.night cap. The third place and championship games will take place the following day at the 6,756-seat AMSOIL Arena.

UMD has competed in two previous Ice Breaker Tournaments -- in 2003 in East Lansing, Mich. and one year ago in South Bend, Ind. In 2017, Minnesota will make its fourth Ice Breaker Tournament appearance while Union and Michigan Tech will both be first-time participants.

Since its 1997, the Ice Breaker has been heldat an array of on- and off-campus sites, including high-end venues such as Xcel Energy Center (St. Paul), Scottrade Center (St. Louis) and Kohl Center (Madison, Wis.). The 2016 event is scheduled for the University of Denver's Magness Arena.

"Duluth is a perfect spot to play host to the Ice Breaker tournament," said College Hockey, Inc. executive director Mike Snee.  "AMSOIL is a spectacular rink and the Bulldogs are a great representation of what makes college hockey so special.  It will be exciting to celebrate the start of the 2017-18 season in one of the best hockey cities in North America."


UMD last hosted a regular season men's tournament in 2001, when the four-team Silverado Shootout was held for a third, and final time, at the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center.

Tournament details with ticket prices will be released at a later date and posted at  Tickets to the 2017 Ice Breaker Tournament will be included in 2017-18 UMD men's hockey full season ticket packages AND half-season ticket holders (Friday or Saturday night) will have the corresponding Ice Breaker games included in their season ticket package. Season ticket holders will also have an exclusive opportunity to purchase extra tickets to the 2017 Ice Breaker Tournament. 



Bob Nygaard

Assistant Athletic Director-Communications

University of Minnesota Duluth Athletics

170 SpHC | 1216 Ordean Court | Duluth, MN 55812

Great article by Brad Schlossman on the UMD Women's Hockey program

The slide of the UMD women’s program

Posted on October 1, 2015 by Brad Elliott Schlossman


Don Lucia is one of two Minnesota hockey coaches to win a national championship.

The other is Herb Brooks, Miracle on Ice legend.

Lucia’s place in Gopher hockey history is secure with those titles and six conference championships.

But what would happen if the Gophers missed the NCAA tournament in each of the next four years? What if the Gophers won just one of 35 games against North Dakota, Minnesota Duluth and Wisconsin?

What if Lucia was sanctioned by the NCAA and forced to vacate wins and a conference championship due to his own carelessness? What if his team finished last in the conference in the NCAA’s Academic Progress Report for eight straight seasons and dead last in the nation for the two?

There’s no doubt about it, Don Lucia would no longer be the head men’s hockey coach at Minnesota. His national titles, conference championships and legacy would not be enough to save his job.

These are not Don Lucia’s credentials, though. They are those of former Minnesota Duluth women’s hockey coach Shannon Miller, and they are precisely why it should not be a surprise that the school opted not to renew the longtime coach’s contract after it expired following the 2014-15 season.

While Miller is suing the University of Minnesota Board of Regents, saying her gender and sexual orientation played a role in her departures from the university, there’s no arguing that her performance has slipped in the last five years.

After reaching the NCAA tournament in 11 of the sport’s first 12 seasons, the Bulldogs have missed the tournament four years in a row. The last four seasons rank Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 4 on the list of the program’s lowest winning percentages.

After finishing in the top three in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association for 12 straight years, the Bulldogs have failed to do so in each of the last four years as they’ve been passed up by North Dakota. Even Ohio State has won more games than Minnesota Duluth in the last three years.

After reaching the WCHA conference tournament semifinals for 13 straight years, the Bulldogs have missed the Final Faceoff in two of the last three years, getting bounced by Bemidji State in the first round last season.

After being called one of the WCHA’s ‘Big Three’ for more than a decade, Minnesota Duluth has fallen out of that mix in stunning fashion. The Bulldogs have won just one of their last 35 games against Minnesota, Wisconsin and North Dakota, fewer than both Bemidji State and struggling Minnesota State-Mankato (the Beavers won five games against those opponents last year alone).

The league’s coaches didn’t see the program going in a promising direction, either. This season, with all of Miller’s returning players and incoming recruits, fellow WCHA coaches picked the Bulldogs to finish below the Beavers and in the bottom half of the league for the first time ever.

Off the ice, Miller’s troubles with the NCAA have been well documented. The program was forced to forfeit a conference title and all regular-season wins for using a professional player and using a former player to recruit her.

Miller’s teams have under-performed in the classroom as well, finishing dead last in the WCHA in the NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate for eight straight years. They were dead last in the country for four of those years, including the last two.

The athletic department likely took note that 13 players have transferred out of the program in the last three years, too.

Every direction you look, there are red flags.

Yes, Miller did terrific things for the Bulldog women’s hockey program and will go down as one of the sport’s most-highly accomplished coaches. But that doesn’t mean she’s entitled to a lifetime appointment as coach.

Many prominent men’s coaches of men’s sports have found this out.

Bobby Bowden, the second-winningest FBS football coach of all time, was forced out at Florida State when his performance dipped. Jeff Sauer, George Gwozdecky and Rick Comley — three of the top nine winningest coaches in D-I men’s hockey history — were all eventually forced out, too.

Coaching is a bottom-line business and the bottom line is that the Bulldogs weren’t paying Miller more than any women’s hockey coach in the country for those results.

Miller won’t take ownership for the program’s recent struggles.

She’ll say it’s the school’s fault for not providing her team a full-time person to book flights hotels and meals (as bizarre as that sounds). She’ll blame the budget, even though the Bulldogs spend as much as anyone in the country in women’s hockey. It’s just not her fault, never has been.

In 2003, The Ralph hosted the WCHA Final Faceoff. In the early morning hours before the championship game, an angry Miller, looking for game tape, accidentally knocked on the door of a University of Minnesota player while looking for the league’s commissioner. She was suspended one game for it.

After the suspension, she told the Duluth News Tribune: “I would like the focus to be on the events that actually occurred, not me accidentally knocking on the door. I’m a little in shock given the situation. We were the victims, not the accused.”

Last season, it became time for Minnesota Duluth to decide whether to issue a new contract to Miller or whether to look in another direction.

With wins decreasing, distance between rivals increasing, championships traveling out of sight, players consistently transferring out and an APR score stuck in the basement, the Bulldogs’ decision shouldn’t be a shock.

Former Duluth East players score 3 goals but come up short against # 1 Minnesota

Gophers Open Ice Breaker with 4-3 Win

Kyle Rau became just the 49th player in school history to earn 125 career points


SOUTH BEND, Ind. ( – Senior captain Kyle Rau tallied a game-high three points including his 125th career point as the top-ranked Gophers picked up a 4-3 win over Minnesota Duluth on Friday afternoon in the regular-season opener.


Minnesota (1-0-0 overall, 0-0-0-0 Big Ten) will now play in the Ice Breaker Tournament championship game on Sunday  at Compton Family Ice Arena against either Notre Dame or RPI. Game time will be determined based off Friday night’s RPI/Notre Dame matchup – 11 a.m. CT should RPI win or 2:30 p.m. CT should Notre Dame win.


On Friday afternoon, the Gophers wasted little time in finding the net for the first goal of the season as Rau fed senior forward Sam Warning for the year’s first score just 30 seconds into the contest on the team’s first shot. Just over five minutes later at 5:44, Rau netted a goal of his own in similar fashion after being set up by Hudson Fasching – this time with the Maroon & Gold shorthanded.


Rau’s goal marked his 125th career point for Minnesota – making the senior forward just the 49th player in team history to reach the mark and the first since Jay Barriball (2006-2011). Rau would later add his third point of the day with an assist on Fasching’s eventual game winner, giving the Eden Prairie, Minn., native 126 points (48 goals, 78 assists) in 122 career games.


While the Gophers sported a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes, the Bulldogs (0-1-0 overall, 0-0-0 NCHC) actually outshot Minnesota 11-6 in the opening session while the two teams would go shot for shot over the next 40 minutes – each with six shots in the second and 10 in the third to end the game with a 27-22 advantage for Minnesota Duluth.


Last year’s leading goal scorer Justin Kloos made it a three-goal lead with his first of the year 4:01 into the second period on a power play after being set up by Michael Brodzinski and Ben Marshall. Kloos scored 16 goals as a rookie last year – the first freshman to lead the team in goals since Barriball in 2006.


From there, the game would tighten for the duration. Dominic Toninato scored his first of two goals for the day at 13:21 of the second on the power play before Fasching found the net for the eventual winner at 18:45 of the second. Rau and Brodzinski picked up assists on the goal – giving Rau his seventh-career game with at least three points while Brodzinski matched his career high with two points and recorded two assists for the first time in his career.


The Bulldogs would net a pair of goals in the third period to draw within one of the Gophers but couldn’t find the equalizer. Andy Welinski scored 25 seconds into the final period while Toninato closed out the game’s scoring at 4:16.


In goal, Adam Wilcox earned the win for Minnesota with a 24-save performance to move to 1-0-0 on the season while Kasimir Kaskisuo took the loss for Minnesota Duluth with 18 saves. Story by Brian Deutsch of the Minnesota Gophers.


-Pride On Ice-


UMD Bulldogs must win playoff series with Western Michigan Broncos to continue season

UMD Bulldogs must win the best of a three game series with the Western Michigan Broncos at Amsoil Arena in Duluth starting Friday March 14, 2014 at 7:07 PM to advance to the Frozen Faceoff at the Target Center in Minneapolis March 21 and 22. The Bulldogs will then have to win a semifinal game and maybe the Championship game to advance to the Regions and make the final 16 in the Pairwise at the Frozen Faceoff. right now the Bulldogs are tied for 18th in the Pairwise.

Other playoff series in the NCHC this weekend with winners advancing to the Frozen Faceoff.

Colorado College at North Dakota

Miami of Ohio at St. Cloud State

Denver at Nebraska Omaha

Playoff winners play at the Frozen Faceoff at the Target Center Minneapolis, Semifinals Friday March 21 at  4:08PM and 7:38PM and 3rd place game Saturday at 3:38 PM and Championship game 7:38 PM March 22.

UMD's Aaron Crandall goalie of the week in the NCHC

Goalies are the hot news at every level this week in Minnesota.

Adam Wilcox will be in the nets against Ohio State tonight in the Hockey City Classic at TCF Stadium after getting the third star of the week in the Big Ten Conference with two victories over Penn State for the Gophers. The outside game has sold 44,000 tickets for the game.

Aaron Crandall goalie for UMD was the Goalie of the Week in the NCHC with two victories over Omaha Nebraska with 90 saves on 93 SOG in a 3-2 and 3-1 wins.

The Wild Josh Harding was back at practice after being on the injured reserved. Rookie backup goalie Darcy Kuemper made 20 saves on 21 shots in giving the Wild a 4-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers last night at the Xcel Center.

Kasimir Kaskisuo of the Minnesota Wilderness Junior team in the NAHL who play there home games in Cloquet, MN Northwood Arena has comitted to UMD.

UMD's Hockey game with Gophers change to Sunday November 24, 2013


The Big Ten Conference announced today that the start time for the football game between Minnesota and Wisconsin will be 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 23. The game will be televised by ESPN.

The 2:30 p.m. start time means that the Minnesota men’s hockey game against Minnesota-Duluth will now be played at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 24 instead of on Saturday, Nov. 23.  The game will still be televised by Fox Sports North. The Gophers also host the Bulldogs at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 22.

Football and Men’s Hockey Schedule for Nov. 22-24
Nov. 22: Hockey, Minnesota-Duluth at Minnesota at 7 p.m. on FSN Plus
Nov. 23: Football, Wisconsin at Minnesota at 2:30 p.m. on ESPN
Nov. 24: Hockey, Minnesota-Duluth at Minnesota at 4 p.m. on FSN or FSN Plus

Please let me know if you have any questions.