The annual college hockey season-opening Ice Break Tournament is officially returning to Denver for the first time since 2016 and, for the first time ever, there will be two hosts: Denver and Air Force. It will be the third time the tournament happens in Denver (1999 & 2016) and the fourth time in Colorado (2005 in Colorado Springs).
According to College Hockey Inc. which administers the tournament on behalf of the Hockey Commissioners Association, the annual tournament, which started in 1997 in Madison, WI, brings together four teams, usually from different conferences, to celebrate the beginning of the college hockey season. In addition to Denver and Air Force, Maine – Denver’s opponent in the 2004 national championship game – and Notre Dame will round out the four teams competing in next year’s tournament.
“We’re excited to join the Air Force Academy in welcoming the Ice Breaker Tournament back to the state of Colorado in 2022,” said Denver Vice Chancellor of Athletics Karlton Creech. “Thank you to College Hockey Inc. and the Hockey Commissioners Association for the opportunity to showcase four great teams to kick off the 2022-23 season. This is the third time that Denver has hosted the Ice Breaker and we’re looking forward to another successful event at Magness Arena.”
The last time Denver hosted the tournament in 2016, they lost to both Ohio State and Boston College. Air Force took home the Ice Breaker trophy that year but Denver went on to win the national championship later that season.
“It’s an honor for the Pioneers to once again play in the Ice Breaker Tournament, and we’re looking forward to joining Air Force and Coach Frank Serratore in hosting two historic programs in Notre Dame and Maine to begin next season,” said Denver Head Coach David Carle. “I was able to be a part of the Ice Breaker the last time DU hosted in 2016, and it was a fantastic event to be a part of. The tournament is truly one of the top showcases for college hockey in the country, and we’re thrilled that our great fans will get the chance to witness it once again.”
We will continue to keep you posted here on developments surrounding the tournament and ticket information.
Photo courtesy Denver Athletics