Former Denver Pioneer and current Toronto Maple Leaf Joe Colborne did an interview with a Canadian site Hockey Now and raved about the time he spent playing in the WCHA.
In the interview, he specifically mentioned the atmospheres at both Ralph Engelstad Arena and the Kohl Center, and says they can’t be replicated.
“I’m telling you, I’ve had the opportunity to play a Game 7 of the NHL Playoffs in an Original Six battle, and the feeling in both Toronto and Boston was unbelievable, but I don’t even know if you can compare it to the atmospheres that I felt in North Dakota and in Wisconsin,” said Colborne, with a fondness coming through in his tone of voice. “The fans love to get on you, they have chants that everyone in the entire stands knows, Wisconsin has little dances that they do—it’s an atmosphere you’ll never be able to replicate anywhere else but in college hockey.”
Colborne played two years for Denver. He played for the Leafs last season. The Game 7 he is referencing is the Toronto-Boston series this year, where Boston rallied for a 4-1 deficit in the third period to win 5-4 in overtime.