After several years of complaints from hockey fans, including Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, the NCAA Women's Frozen Four championship game will be broadcast live next month.
In recent years, the game has been available live only on the internet — with a delayed telecast shown a week later.
But Thursday, the Big Ten Network announced it will show the game live March 19. And then, for the next three years, both the semifinals and title game will be shown live.
The Gophers have won the national title in four of the past five seasons.
This year's Women's Frozen Four will be in suburban St. Louis and, in 2018, it will be held at Minnesota's Ridder Arena.
Gophers host UND
The No. 5 Gophers women's hockey team plays North Dakota at 7 p.m. Friday and 4 p.m. Saturday at Ridder Arena in the next to last series of the regular season. Minnesota (21-5-3, 17-4-3-2 WCHA) is in second place in the conference race, one point ahead of Minnesota Duluth. UND (13-11-6, 10-9-5-3) is fourth.
In mid-November, the Gophers and Fighting Hawks played two 2-2 overtime ties in Grand Forks; Minnesota won both shootouts.