Holiday Face-Off College Hockey Tournament
Holiday Face-Off College Hockey Tournament
The inaugural Holiday Face-Off college hockey tournament will be held at Fiserv Forum on Dec. 28 and 29. The first-ever college hockey event at Fiserv Forum will feature Wisconsin, Clarkson, Arizona State and Connecticut. Tickets for single-day and tournament packages will go on sale to the general public on Thursday, March 5 at 11 a.m. at FiservForum.com.
Semifinal play will take place on Monday, Dec. 28 with the Championship game and third-place game on Tuesday, Dec. 29. Matchups will be announced at a later date.
The event will be produced by New Jersey-based sports marketing firm the Gazelle Group.
“We are proud to bring major college hockey to Fiserv Forum as we continue to offer a diverse list of events at the arena,” said Fiserv Forum and Bucks President Peter Feigin. “Milwaukee has a rich history of college hockey tournaments, and we look forward to continuing the tradition by hosting the Holiday Face-Off at Fiserv Forum into the future.”
“We are excited to begin what we believe will be the top national men’s college ice hockey tournament in the country,” said Rick Giles, president of the Gazelle Group. “For us to be able to attract four of the most distinguished programs in the nation shows that these programs want to compete against the very best, and we plan on continuing to bring together the best teams in college hockey to play at one of the finest venues in the country, Fiserv Forum.”
College hockey in Milwaukee has a rich history. The city has hosted the NCAA men’s Frozen Four on three occasions: 1993, 1997 and 2006. In 2006, Wisconsin won its most recent National Championship on the Bradley Center ice.
In addition, from 1989-2003, Wisconsin hosted the Badger Hockey Showdown at the Bradley Center, averaging more than 26,000 fans a year during that span.
For additional information, follow the Holiday Face-Off on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram (@holidayfaceoff).
Wisconsin (Head Coach: Tony Granato, Big Ten Conference)
2017 Big Ten Coach of the Year and 2018 U.S. Olympic Team Coach Tony Granato is in his fourth season as head coach of his alma mater. The Badgers have won six national championships and feature the top-rated freshman class in the country, highlighted by Alex Turcotte (drafted 5th by Los Angeles), Cole Caufield (15th by Montreal), Ryder Donovan (100th by Vegas), Owen Lindmark (137th by Florida), and Dylan Holloway (Canadian Junior Hockey League Player of the Year). In addition, Wisconsin’s defense boasts five NHL draftees, led by Rangers’ pick K’Andre Miller. The Badgers are the second youngest team in the country and play the fourth most difficult schedule in the country. The Badgers have drawn more than 10 million fans since 1963.
Clarkson (Head Coach: Casey Jones, ECAC Hockey)
Casey Jones has been the head coach at Clarkson for nine seasons and has guided the Golden Knights to nearly 170 wins in that time period. This season, Clarkson ranked No. 7/No. 7 (USCHO/USA Today, USA Hockey Magazine) in the polls with 23 wins and tied for first in the ECAC. The 23 wins mark the third straight season Clarkson has reached the 20-win plateau. The Knights sport the nation’s top combined special teams units (59.1 percent), including the top penalty kill (91.9 percent). Seven of Clarkson’s top nine scorers are underclassmen, led by Josh Dunne, Zach Tsekos, Connor McCarthy, Jack Jacome, Brian Hurley, Anthony Romano and Mathieu Gosselin.
Arizona State (Head Coach: Greg Powers, Independent)
In just its fifth season as a Division I program, Arizona State has emerged as a national power under the guidance of Head Coach Greg Powers, who was a finalist for national coach of the year a year ago when ASU became the fastest start-up program to earn a spot in the NCAA Tournament. The Sun Devils won their school-record 22nd game of the season on Feb. 15 and are ranked No. 14/No. 13 (USCHO/USA Today, USA Hockey Magazine) in the national polls. Three of the top four ASU scorers are expected back next season: James Sanchez, Johnny Walker and Josh Maniscalco, as well as starting keeper Evan DeBrouwer. A year ago the Sun Devils posted 21 wins.
Connecticut (Head Coach: Mike Cavanaugh, Hockey East)
Mike Cavanaugh has been the head coach at UConn for seven seasons, guiding the Huskies through their transition to Hockey East. Featuring one of the youngest rosters in the country, of UConn’s top 11 scorers, eight are either freshmen or sophomores, led by freshman Vladislav Firstov, who ranks among the top 15 nationally in scoring and the top 5 nationally in freshman goal scoring. Classmate Yan Kuznetsov joins his fellow Russian countryman among that group, as do sophomores Rusian Ishakov, Jachym Kondelik, Carter Turnbull, Jonny Evans, Kale Howarth, and Marc Gatcomb. In the Huskies’ net is sophomore Tomas Vomacka.