Sep 5, 2013
MINNEAPOLIS – The University of Minnesota, in conjunction with Bemidji State University, Minnesota State University, St. Cloud State University, the University of Minnesota Duluth and Xcel Energy Center, announced the North Star College Cup on Thursday, giving an official title to the state’s inaugural Division I men’s hockey tournament next year in St. Paul.
After careful deliberation including a fan vote and input from all five of the state’s Division I men’s hockey coaches and administrations, the North Star College Cup was selected from a pool of eight finalists nominated by fans via social media. Borrowing from Minnesota’s moniker of the “North Star State,” the official title provides a unique and memorable portrait of the state’s deep history and tradition as a college hockey hotbed.
“When we began discussing this tournament, one of the things we knew we needed was a tournament name that would instantly catch the attention of college hockey fans in the state,” Minnesota associate athletic director and men’s hockey administrator Tom McGinnis said. “We feel that the North Star College Cup accomplishes that, and we are looking forward to a great event at Xcel Energy Center next January.”
The inaugural North Star College Cup is slated for Friday, January 24 and Saturday, January 25, 2014 with the Gophers, Minnesota State, St. Cloud State and Minnesota Duluth set to participate while Bemidji State will be idle in the tournament’s first year. The event will feature a tournament championship format with two semifinal games scheduled for Friday (Gophers vs. St. Cloud State and Minnesota State vs. Minnesota Duluth) and a consolation and championship game to follow on Saturday. Tournament details including ticketing information will be finalized and announced at a later date. The University of Minnesota will serve as the event’s permanent host with three of the other four institutions participating on a rotating basis over an initial four-year schedule.
The North Star College Cup came to fruition on March 23, 2013 when Minnesota’s five Division I men’s hockey programs announced their intentions to maintain in-state rivalries despite a split in conference alignments. While all five programs previously competed in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, 2013-14 marks the first season in which the Gophers will compete in the Big Ten Conference while St. Cloud State and Minnesota Duluth will move to the National Collegiate Hockey Conference. Minnesota State and Bemidji State will continue to compete in the WCHA. The changing landscape of college hockey provided the impetus for nonconference rivalries between the five programs, and the North Star College Cup ensures those rivalries will remain intact.
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