NCAA hockey will descend upon Philadelphia in April 2014 when the Frozen Four comes to the Wells Fargo Center, but if all goes according to plan, more than just the Division 1 national champion could be crowned that weekend.
According to a report from US College Hockey Online, organizers are preparing to host both the D1 and the D3 men's ice hockey championships at the same site beginning in 2014. The proposal has already been approved by one NCAA committee and needs the approval of several others before becoming a certainty. Philadelphia organizers reportedly support the idea as well.
Adding an extra championship likely won't have a huge economic impact on the city. Lake Placid has served as host of the D3 championship in recent years, and it's typically attended by just a few thousand fans. But adding a Friday D3 title game to the Frozen Four weekend schedule could add some much-needed excitement on a night that's typically sandwiched between Thursday's semifinal games and Saturday's national final.
If the plan comes to fruition, the D3 semifinals would be held at campus locations two weekends prior to the title game at the Wells Fargo Center.
Princeton has historically been the only D1 school close to Philadelphia, while Penn State's program will begin play at that level this coming season. Neumann University is the only local hockey school at the D3 level. Most D3 programs are scattered across Upstate New York, New England and the Upper Midwest. St. Norbert's of Wisconsin beat Oswego State of New York in the title game a year ago.