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DIII Women's Championship Following Men's Game; Testing a Neutral Championship Game

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  • DIII Women's Championship Following Men's Game; Testing a Neutral Championship Game

    The August 2023 report of the DIII championships committee is out and has some juicy details for women's hockey.

    https://ncaaorg.s3.amazonaws.com/com...3CC_Report.pdf

    Initially brought up back in June, the women's ice hockey committee requested a six-year pilot program (2024-2029) in which the Frozen Four would alternate between a neutral site and the current highest-remaining seed format, similar to what the men are doing full-time.

    At the August meeting, this was approved after the committee brought back additional data and opinions from coaches and administrators. However, the committee is moving forward with just a FOUR-year pilot program (2024-2027). As of now, it is proposed that the 2024 and 2026 championships will be held at the home site of the highest seed, as it had been. 2025 and 2027 would be held at neutral sites, and the results would be analyzed to see if it is worthwhile to move forward, or return to the "old" format. Gender equity seems to be a big point of interest from the committee, and since the men's game follows this pattern, the women's game should also. Giving the women the proper facilities and experience was brought up in the report. Note: there were multiple complaints about last year's championship at Amherst.

    Another key point that the Championships committee made is that they think it would be a better suggestion to have the neutral site championships held in consecutive years to "gain a more immediate perspective" on whether this would be the right move going forward. Frankly, I think the championships committee is a bit sick of the "neutral vs. home site" argument in men's and women's hockey. I believe they want to give the women's tournament a chance to explore the neutral site again, but they really want to get this argument over with, and pick a long-term plan and stick with it.

    So... in all likelihood, we're looking at 2024 at a home site, and most likely 2025 and 2026 at two different neutral sites. After that, we'll see how well the tournaments are attended and what the decision is long-term. Keep in mind, if 2024 ends up at a home site out east, 2025 will have to be held in the west region. That could allow for a pilot of both a eastern and western neutral site.

    Other notes:

    -There is not currently enough data and support to change the dates of the tournament. Back in June, the women's ice hockey committee wanted to move first round games off of the Wednesday after conference title games, and push it to the following Saturday. This move would push back the QF to the next Saturday (currently the weekend of the Frozen Four), and the semifinals to the following Friday (the same as the men's current championship). This would give the first round teams much more of an advantage in the quarterfinals with the added rest. But teams that earn byes would have quite the break before playing playoff hockey again. However, the committee is reworking the process to have these things changed, so perhaps this could come up again soon and the change may be made down the road.

    -The SUNYAC officially picked up the NEWHL's automatic bid, as expected.

  • #2
    Any thoughts as to what neutral sites could pursue hosting? I'd have to think Lake Placid could be an option.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by VTpucksouteast View Post
      Any thoughts as to what neutral sites could pursue hosting? I'd have to think Lake Placid could be an option.
      I think it depends on how the 2024 season goes down. As mentioned before, if a west team doesn't host this year. They'll for sure host in 2025. I believe even if 2024 ends up out west, they'll want a neutral site in each region in 2025 and 2026.

      If they decide to go the same route as the men's (which seems to be the theme), they may go for the bigger barns they've attempted at filling in their championships. This could be rinks like Lake Placid, Buffalo's Harbor Center, and Utica's Nexus Center out east. Maybe Ridder Arena (U of MN), Yost Arena (U of MI) out west.

      If they want something a little more tightly-compacted with a better chance at creating a raucous atmosphere, that's where things are dependent on 2024. There are certain rinks that would could definitely be electric. Plattsburgh, Middlebury, Norwich would all be great hosts. River Falls and Gustavus would also be awesome out west. However, do they really want the home crowd to take over one of these if they are truly testing it out? If we're being honest, multiple schools of those five will be in the mix most likely. Honestly, it's not much of a litmus test, but I think they'd love the seats to be sold regardless of manner.

      I think finding that middle ground arenas are the way to go. But having a smaller, tight rink with a great atmosphere is fun too. Rinks like Endicott, Augsburg, Amherst can and have done a good job, but the facilities are subpar. I think they'll go with one of the larger rinks for one pick, and a bigger on-campus rink for another. As for what they do afterwards, it depends. I think they'll continue this alternating format, and deal with the consequences. (Think UW-Superior in 2013)

      For what it's worth, I'll make predictions at it. Noted, these are just guesses, and I have no insight to what they'll actually do. I think in 2025 and 2026, they'll go Hunt Arena in River Falls and Adirondack Bank Center in Utica. River Falls has a top notch on-campus facility that seats 1,400 with an incredible atmosphere. The Aud is massive, hosting close to 4K for AHL hockey games, but the Pioneers have tremendous support in a hockey-rich market. Granted, if Utica or River Falls women earn home ice this year, those will be off the table for this pilot period, in my opinion. Same goes for if Ronald B. Stafford Arena, Kreitzberg, Don Roberts Ice Rink, etc. hosts this upcoming spring.

      Comment


      • #4


        Originally posted by SHockey98 View Post

        ....Rinks like Endicott, Augsburg, Amherst can and have done a good job, but the facilities are subpar.....
        I think no matter how good the atmosphere in the rink is and a small rink can make that easier, the facilities are now too important to let atmosphere trump player and fan exeperience. I think Amherst is joining Adrian in the "don't bother for applying to host the natty weekend again" club...

        The NCAA should be embarassed by the setup they had at Amherst.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Scott_TG View Post



          I think no matter how good the atmosphere in the rink is and a small rink can make that easier, the facilities are now too important to let atmosphere trump player and fan exeperience. I think Amherst is joining Adrian in the "don't bother for applying to host the natty weekend again" club...

          The NCAA should be embarassed by the setup they had at Amherst.
          Were Adrian’s locker rooms/facilities that bad?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by VTpucksouteast View Post

            Were Adrian’s locker rooms/facilities that bad?
            Locker rooms were not bad. Hotel situation was brutal for Norwich (stayed at Super 8 motel), while the other two teams were at a Holiday Inn.

            Banquet was very good.

            Security in the rink locker rooms wasn't good and I don't think anybody loved "the message" that was written in the center-ice faceoff dot wishing Adrian good luck.
            The Poster Formerly Known as Purple_and_Gold10©
            "The Prezidential Three - Elmira, Oswego, Norwich" © Joecct
            GO EAGLES!!! R.I.P. L.H. #4 In our hearts forever
            GO LAKERS!!!
            GO CADETS!!! R.I.P. Charlie Crosby '63
            "Reisweber trying to circle in front of the net, he does, HE SCORES! that's it! Oswego State has done it!! The Lakers take home the first NCAA title of any kind in school history. It's celebration time in Upstate New York!"
            Oswego State '09

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by PrezdeJohnson09 View Post

              Locker rooms were not bad. Hotel situation was brutal for Norwich (stayed at Super 8 motel), while the other two teams were at a Holiday Inn.

              Banquet was very good.

              Security in the rink locker rooms wasn't good and I don't think anybody loved "the message" that was written in the center-ice faceoff dot wishing Adrian good luck.
              Interesting. I know Adrian fans are very prideful of their rink, but it is a tough location. What’s the story with this “message?”

              Comment


              • #8
                Just an FYI, since the final were held here there have been two new hotels built. There is a new Hampton Inn (maybe 4 years old) a couple of miles away and a new Comfort Inn )two years old) which is located across the road from the rink.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by AC Bulldog View Post
                  Just an FYI, since the final were held here there have been two new hotels built. There is a new Hampton Inn (maybe 4 years old) a couple of miles away and a new Comfort Inn )two years old) which is located across the road from the rink.
                  Sorry to tell you, that's not going to matter anytime soon. Lol
                  Last edited by shelfit; 08-23-2023, 11:49 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by VTpucksouteast View Post

                    Interesting. I know Adrian fans are very prideful of their rink, but it is a tough location. What’s the story with this “message?”
                    I don’t have the exact wording but it was something along the lines of “good luck Adrian women’s hockey, bring it home seniors” or something like that.

                    Would have been a fine message to hang/post in the Adrian women’s locker room. Had no business being very visible right in the ice at the center ice faceoff dot for a “neutral site” championship host.
                    The Poster Formerly Known as Purple_and_Gold10©
                    "The Prezidential Three - Elmira, Oswego, Norwich" © Joecct
                    GO EAGLES!!! R.I.P. L.H. #4 In our hearts forever
                    GO LAKERS!!!
                    GO CADETS!!! R.I.P. Charlie Crosby '63
                    "Reisweber trying to circle in front of the net, he does, HE SCORES! that's it! Oswego State has done it!! The Lakers take home the first NCAA title of any kind in school history. It's celebration time in Upstate New York!"
                    Oswego State '09

                    Comment

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