It may not inspire widespread, degenerate gambling like its basketball counterpart, but the NCAA Frozen Four Hockey Tournament still boasts one of the most exciting post-seasons in collegiate sports, and this year marks the return to its ancestral home of Colorado. The first ten Men's Hockey Championships were played in Colorado Springs, so it's fitting that Colorado had three schools in the initial sixteen-team bracket: Colorado College, Air Force and the University of Denver. This, of course, created a powerful jinx, resulting in all three teams getting bounced in the first round and officially killing the dream of a Front Range final.
Nevertheless, the Frozen Four still has a full slate of other activities, even if the games themselves are sold out. Team practices at the Pepsi Center for both the semi-finalists (beginning at 11 a.m. today) and the finalists (starting at 11:15 a.m. on Friday, April 11) are free and open to the public. Friday night features a series of events, including the presentation of the Hobey Baker award the college-hockey equivalent of the Heisman trophy followed by a skills challenge with the nation's best players at 7 p.m. ($10, Pepsi Center). The weekend culminates with a free open skate on the Pepsi Center's ice at noon on Saturday, a mere five hours before the puck drops for the finals. Visit www.denver.org/frozenfour for information.
And even if you don't make it to one of the above, the Frozen Four presents a golden opportunity to recoup some of that you money you lost in this year's March Madness.
Wed., April 9, 2008