Maybe it is the high caliber of play that we come to expect in watching games in the WCHA. Or maybe the past Frozen Fours that have spoiled us. More likely it was just one of those years where the three games at the Frozen Four were duds.
The teams played hard, in some cases, but the results were lopsided games where spectators couldn’t help but lose interest because suspense was not there. And this has nothing to do with the venue even though many have voiced their opinion that it should be held in an arena. Aside…remember, the 2011 Frozen Four is at the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul. The venue is not the focus for this article, it is the implications of the three blowout games.
Where Does College Hockey Go From Here?
This could be a step backward for the game on a national level. What do you think was the reaction at ESPN at the results? “Sure glad we are in a contract to televise this stuff nationally…” I am quite certain the sentiment is being uttered outloud in Bristol.
In the middle of the West Regional press conference after the championship game between the SCSU players and coach leaving and the Wisconsin players and coach arriving, the ESPN technician started taking down the lights that make video possible. The NCAA Regional Director asked what he was doing and a heated exchange ensued.
The technician said that his ESPN people told him to take it all down because they were packing up to leave. The Director was angered because we still had a press conference to conduct in front of the cameras.
In the end, people the two in the argument in front of the media were quite mad. The technician put up one of the two lights he took down and stormed off with the other. The Director was visually agitated, and we, the media were left to crack jokes amongst each other about the incident, most taking sides with the NCAA.
I am sure that it is important to the NCAA to get the hockey championship on TV and the more mainstream the better. But after this year’s Frozen Four, I hope that someone like ESPN will be there to step up and take it on.