New NCAA DI men’s hockey tourney to debut in December

LAKE PLACID — A brand new collegiate men’s hockey tournament will debut in Lake Placid in December.

The Adirondack Winter Invitational men’s hockey tournament will bring together some of the top NCAA Division I programs in the nation for a tournament on Dec. 29 and 30 at the Olympic Center’s 1980 Herb Brooks Arena.

University of Massachusetts-Amherst will take on Cornell in the opening game on Dec. 29, followed by Arizona State against Clarkson at night. The winners of the first two games will face off on Dec. 30 for the championship while the losing teams will compete in a consolation round.

“We’re really excited to bring this caliber of hockey to Lake Placid during the holiday season,” Olympic Center General Manager Chadd Cassidy said. “This is the point in the schedule when college teams are coming off a holiday break, and begin to position for the stretch run of the season. With both Clarkson and Cornell here, it may give us a preview of the ECAC Championships coming up in March 2024.”

Cornell and Clarkson are both part of the ECAC Hockey conference, which hosts its championship tournament in Lake Placid every March since 2014, with the exception of 2020 due to the pandemic and 2021 when it was hosted at the People’s United Center, Hamden, Connecticut. Cornell lost to Boston University in the quarterfinal round of the NCAA tournament last year, then opened the 2023-24 season with seven wins in a row. Clarkson held a 3-4 overall record going into regular season conference play that started Nov. 10. The ECAC Hockey Championships will take place March 22-23, 2024 at the Olympic Center.

Clarkson has been to the NCAA tournament championship game three times — 1962, 1966 and 1970 — but has never won the title. Cornell won the NCAA championship in 1967 and 1970.

Massachusetts plays in the Hockey East Conference, while Arizona State is a Pac-12 school that plays as a Division I independent for men’s hockey. The Sun Devils, an NCAA Division I team since 2016-2017, will join the National Collegiate Hockey Conference starting in the 2024-2025 season.

Arizona State made its lone NCAA Tournament appearance in 2019. Coached by Greg Carvel, now in his eighth season at UMass, the Minutemen reached the NCAA Tournament’s Frozen Four in 2019 and 2021, capturing the school’s first men’s hockey national title in 2021.

Cornell (No. 10), Arizona State (No. 14), and Massachusetts (No. 15) were all ranked in the top 20 of the U.S. College Hockey Online Division I poll on Nov. 13.

Single-day and two-day ticket options are available and can be purchased online. For more information, call the Olympic Center Box Office at 518-523-3330 between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m or visit www.lakeplacidolympiccenter.com.

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