USCHO has brought up what will be one of the hot topics at the coaches meetings in Florida — the NCAA tournament format and its attendance problems at “neutral” sites. Read that here.
The reason I put the word neutral in quotations is that it’s fair to question how neutral some of these sites are.
Since the NCAA tournament moved to its current format in 2003, Minnesota and Boston College are a combined 19-1 in regionals played in their home states. They are 7-8 in out-of-state regionals.
Minnesota has reached nine NCAA tournaments. They’ve been placed in the Twin Cities four times and reached the Frozen Four every time (8-0 record). They’ve been placed elsewhere five times and reached zero Frozen Fours (2-5 record).
Boston College is 11-1 in Worcester regionals, reaching the Frozen Four five times in six tries. The Eagles’ lone loss in Worcester was in 2005 against North Dakota. The Eagles are 5-3 elsewhere, going 4-0 in Manchester, 1-2 in Providence and 0-1 in St. Louis (BC’s lone regional flight).
One team that really hasn’t taken advantage of backyard regionals is New Hampshire. The Wildcats are just 3-5 in Manchester. They haven’t reached a Frozen Four since beating St. Cloud and Boston University in Worcester in 2003.