2009 & 2011 NCAA Ice Hockey East Regionals come to Arena at Harbor Yard

2009 & 2011 NCAA Ice Hockey East Regionals come to Arena at Harbor Yard

Fairfield University & Yale University will co-host the events

Fairfield University and Yale University will co-host the Division I NCAA Men's Ice Hockey East Regional in 2009 and 2011. The NCAA Division I Ice Hockey Committee made the formal announcement this afternoon. The tournament will be played at the Arena at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport, Conn., marking the first time that the state of Connecticut has hosted an NCAA Men's Hockey Tournament Regional.

"It's great to bring NCAA Tournament hockey to Connecticut and the region," said Wayne Dean, Yale University Senior Associate Athletic Director and Chair of the NCAA Division I Men's Hockey Committee. "The opportunity for fans to see the greatest college hockey teams in the country is a thrilling prospect."

The other sites for the 2009 tournament include the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, N.H. (Northeast Region), the Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Mich. (Midwest Region), and Mariucci Arena in Minneapolis, Minn. (West Region). Both Bridgeport and Manchester were selected for the 2011 regional tournaments, but no selection has been made for the other two regional sites that year.

"Any time you are selected to host an NCAA event, it's an honor," said Yale Athletic Director Tom Beckett. "We are thrilled to work with our friends at Fairfield University to put on a spectacular NCAA hockey regional."

"We are excited to have the opportunity to bring the elite of NCAA men's ice hockey to Fairfield County," Fairfield University Director of Athletics Gene Doris said. "The intimacy of the Arena at Harbor Yard makes it a perfect venue for this tournament. It also gives me a great deal of pleasure to co-host this event with Yale University which will further strengthen our relationship today and in the future. The success of hosting the 2004 NCAA women's basketball tournament shows that the city of Bridgeport and the surrounding communities will support events of this stature. "

Support for the sport has been evident throughout the state, especially at Ingalls Rink on the campus of Yale University. The Bulldogs have listed 54 sellout crowds over the last five seasons on their home ice.

"This is a great event to have in Yale's backyard," said Yale men's hockey coach Tim Taylor, who begins his 27th season behind the bench this fall. "Hockey fans in the area will be very excited. The Arena at Harbor Yard is a terrific hockey facility, and I know that the teams selected will enjoy the experience."

Hockey's presence is well represented throughout the state, especially with its youth programs. The Connecticut Hockey Conference has better than 40 teams under its guidance.

"Having an event like the NCAA Regional in Connecticut will be a great event for the 10,000 boys and girls who play hockey in the state of Connecticut, as well as for their families," said Connecticut Hockey Conference President Pat Cavallaro.

The Coastal Fairfield County Sports Commission will also play a role in the success of these events, as it does for all major sporting events in the area. The Commission is a program of the region's Convention and Visitor Bureau, which represents the 13 communities in southwestern Connecticut.

"This is very exciting to have the NCAA Men's Hockey Tournament coming to Bridgeport," said Commission Vice President Bob Mazzone. "We are very fortunate to have such a great arena in Bridgeport and know that the sports fans and, in particular, the many hockey fans in our communities will love the opportunity to see championship college hockey right in our backyard. The Sports Commission will contribute in every way it can to the efforts of Fairfield University and Yale to ensure a great experience for fans, players and the NCAA."

The Arena at Harbor Yard, in conjunction with Fairfield University, hosted the 2004 NCAA Women's Basketball Championship tournament first and second rounds, and welcomes the 2006 NCAA Women's Basketball Championship Regional tournament next March.

"This announcement is the result of a great collaborative effort between Yale University, Fairfield University and the Arena," said Arena General Manager Lynn Carlotto. "We know the fans will be thrilled and will certainly come out to support this prestigious event."

Additional information regarding tickets and other key tournament dates for the 2009 and 2011 NCAA Men's Hockey East Regional tournaments will be posted when available on the web sites of NCAA Championships ( www.ncaasports.com ), Yale University athletics ( www.yalebulldogs.com ), and Fairfield University ( www.fairfieldstags.com ).

Posted On: 06-23-2005 10:06 AM

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