The NCHC was formed in 2011 following the creation of the Big Ten Hockey Conference, which pulled major contenders like the Minnesota Gophers and Wisconsin Badgers from the WCHA, and the Michigan Wolverines, Michigan State Spartans and Ohio State Buckeyes from the CCHA. The remaining teams in the WCHA and CCHA banded together to form a new conference and the NCHC was born.
The NCHC is made up of the following teams: Colorado College, University of Denver, Miami University, University of Minnesota Duluth, University of Nebraska Omaha, University of North Dakota, St. Cloud State University and Western Michigan University.
Four of the last five national champions have come from the NCHC— North Dakota (2016), Denver (2017) and Minnesota Duluth (2018 & 2019).
Got it. So what’s the Frozen Faceoff?
The Frozen Faceoff is the name for the semi-final and final rounds of the annual NCHC post-season tournament (the quarterfinals are a best-of-three format and are hosted by the four higher seeds). All eight teams compete in the playoffs with the winner receiving an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament—it’s kind of a big deal.
Minneapolis’ Target Center hosted the Frozen Faceoff for four seasons after the NCHC’s inaugural year in 2014, but the event moved across the river to Saint Paul for the first time in 2018. Past champions are St. Cloud (2016), Denver (2018) and Minnesota Duluth (2017 & 2019).
In addition to the action on the ice, the tournament also includes the NCHC Frozen Fest. This free event includes food, drinks, interactive games and live music.
For more detailed information, check out our Frozen Faceoff microsite.