ORONO, Maine -- The University of Maine will host the 2015 Ice Breaker Tournament at the Cumberland Country Civic Center in Portland, Maine. College Hockey Inc., which manages the event on behalf of the Hockey Commissioner's Association, made the announcement today.
"This is a great opportunity for the University of Maine," said Director of Athletics Steve Abbott. "To be able to host one of the premier college hockey tournaments in the newly-renovated Cumberland Country Civic Center is a win for the University and the state of Maine. We are excited to be able to exhibit some of the best college hockey to our many fans in southern Maine."
"The staff at the Civic Center works hard for us whenever we play in Portland and they always do a great job hosting our events. We are delighted to have the opportunity to showcase the new renovations and our beautiful state," said Abbott.
"The Ice Breaker will be visiting two fantastic venues in 2014 and '15, arenas that showcase college hockey in their own unique way," said Mike Snee, Executive Director of College Hockey Inc. "We are thrilled to work with Notre Dame and Maine on these tournaments and look forward to celebrating the start of the 2014 and '15 seasons in these terrific settings."
College Hockey Inc., which manages the event on behalf of the Hockey Commissioners Association, also announced that the 2014 tournament will feature Minnesota, Minnesota Duluth and Rensselaer in addition to host Notre Dame. In a little more than three years of existence, College Hockey, Inc. has helped impact NCAA Division I men's college hockey through extensive marketing and informational efforts designed to raise the sport's profile and to encourage elite young players to pursue a college hockey career. The entity is operated under the auspices of a 10-member Board of Directors. It works closely with the commissioners of the five Division I men's hockey conferences and the coaching staffs and administrations of the 59 Division I programs. The organization was made possible by resources provided by USA Hockey, through a grant from the National Hockey League.
The 2015 Ice Breaker Tournament will be the 19th year of the tournament. Maine hosted the event in 2001 at Alfond Area, with Bowling Green, Clarkson and St. Cloud participating. In addition to 2001, the Black Bears have also participated in the event in 2005 in College Springs, Colo. and in 2013 in Kansas City, Kansas.
"The University of Maine is thrilled to be hosting the 2015 Ice Breaker Tournament in Portland," said Maine head coach Red Gendron. "The Ice Breaker Tournament annually features the nation's best teams in the top venues. The Cumberland Country Civic Center is undergoing a multi-million dollar renovation and we are looking forward to hosting the tournament there. We can't wait to showcase college hockey to our great fans, including the ones in southern Maine, in addition to college hockey fans throughout the nation."
"We are very excited to host the Univ. of Maine and the Ice Breaker Tournament in our newly renovated arena," said Steve Crane, General Manager of the Cumberland County Civic Center. "Portland has a national reputation as a great hockey market and it will be exciting for our hockey fans to have the 2015-2016 college hockey season open in Portland with this great Tournament."
The Cumberland Country Civic Center is undergoing major renovations, which are expected to be completed by October 2013. The upgrades include new locker room space, retrofitting the 7,000 arena seats, constructing new lobbies including stairs, elevators and escalators. There will also be construction of private suites and club team offices and administrative offices, along with a larger ticket lobby. The existing building facades will also be upgraded.
Southern Maine fans are extremely important to the University of Maine and Black Bear athletics. Maine traditionally plays at least one game at the Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland each year. Maine has a stellar record in the last 10 games in Portland, compiling a mark of 9-0-1 over that span. During that time, the Black Bears have averaged more than 6,100 fans per game.
The remainder of the tournament field will be selected and announced at a later day. Maine will also announce ticket packages as the tournament nears.