Xcel Energy Center was named one of 10 finalists to host a men’s Frozen Four from 2015 to 2018, the NCAA announced on Wednesday. Three other Twin Cities venues are also finalists for national events in that stretch.

Ridder Arena, home of the Gophers women’s hockey team, and Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks, N.D., are two of the four finalists for the women’s Frozen Four. Ridder also is among the three sites in contention for the Division III men’s hockey championship.

The University of Minnesota Aquatic Center is one of five finalists for the NCAA men’s swimming and diving meet and one of six for women’s meet. Target Center is one of seven finalists to host the final four in women’s volleyball from 2014 to 2017.

In women’s basketball, Taylor Center in Mankato is a finalist for the Division II tournament and the Mayo Civic Center in Rochester is a finalist for the Division III tournament.

The winning sites will be announced Dec. 11.

Showcase to open MIAC hockey season

The three-day MIAC Hockey Showcase will be held this weekend, starting Friday, at Fogarty Arena in Blaine. All nine teams will play two games.

St. John’s and St. Thomas, the defending MIAC co-champions, are the favorites in the coaches’ preseason poll. The Johnnies received five first-place votes and had 61 points. The Tommies had three votes for the top spot and 58 points.


• Augsburg beat Concordia 26-24, 25-18, 25-20 in Moorhead to clinch at least a share of its first-ever MIAC regular-season volleyball championship. The Auggies (27-3, 10-1 conference) were led by Ashley Peper’s 17 kills. The Minneapolis college’s last conference title in any sport came in 2004 when its wrestling team won the MIAC Duals. And the last conference title for the Auggies in a women’s sport was in 2000 in hockey.

• Gophers junior defenseman Rachel Ramsey was named the WCHA’s defensive player of the week. Ramsey had one goal and one assist in Minnesota’s sweep at Bemidji State. Minnesota Duluth defenseman Sidney Morin was the conference’s rookie of the week. Ramsey and Morin are former high school teammates at Minnetonka.

• Nebraska’s Cassie Deeg, of Hugo, Minn., is the Big Ten women’s golfer of the week. She shot a 1-under 143 to tie for fifth place in the Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown.

• Karen Stromme, an assistant athletic director at Minnesota Duluth, was elected chair of the NCAA Division II Management Council starting in January.

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