Jason Gonzalez has covered an array of sports at all levels over the last nine years. He learned ice hockey, however, long before — during the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah (his hometown). He got a close up look of legendary Gophers alum Herb Brooks and other Minnesota hockey greats. Jason has been with the Star Tribune since 2012.
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The Twin Cities and Xcel Energy Center were awarded the 2018 men's Frozen Four the NCAA announced on Wednesday afternoon.
Ridder Arena will host the 2015 and 2018 women's Frozen Fours.
The men's college hockey championship will be held on April 5-7, 2018, in St. Paul. The women's events will be in March of their respective years.
"We are extremely excited to be selected to host the 2018 NCAA Frozen Four," Minnesota head coach Don Lucia said in a statement. "The Xcel Energy Center, the city of St. Paul and the University of Minnesota have a great history of hosting first-class events and we look forward to continuing that tradition over the next few years.”
Boston’s TD Garden was awarded the 2015 Frozen Four, the Tampa Bay Times Forum will host in 2016, and Chicago’s United Center will host in 2017.
Xcel Energy Center will also host a regional in 2016. It'll be the fourth regional played at Xcel Energy Center. This year's West Regional will be played in St. Paul.
The Gophers hosted the 1958, 1966, 1989, 1991, 1994, 2002 and 2011 Frozen Fours. The 1989, 1991, 1994, 2002 and 2011 Frozen Fours were played in St. Paul with Xcel Energy Center hosting the 2002 and 2011 events.
The men’s and women’s Frozen Fours will be played in the Twin Cities in 2018. The women’s championship will be held in the Gophers' Ridder Arena, March 16-18.
The 2015 women’s Frozen Four will also be at Ridder Arena, March 20-22.
"We are proud to welcome the NCAA Frozen Four back to the State of Hockey," said Xcel Energy Center General Manager Jack Larson. "We look forward to partnering once again with the NCAA, the University of Minnesota, Visit Saint Paul and our local business community to produce an unforgettable tournament weekend for college hockey fans."
Full list of NCAA championship sites.