Is it time to name the NCHC Frozen Faceoff trophy?
On February 20, after UND beat Omaha 7-1 to win the league regular season title, Fenton called UND captain Jordan Kawaguchi to the center of the ice and handed him the Penrose Cup. .
Three and a half weeks later, after UND beat St. Cloud State 5-3 to win the league playoff title, Fenton called Kawaguchi back in the middle of the ice and handed him the title. . . NCHC Playoff Trophy? The NCHC Frozen Faceoff Trophy?
While the hockey world likes to name its trophies, the NCHC postseason championship trophy remains conspicuously anonymous eight years after the league began existence.
It has become an outlier in men’s college hockey.
Hockey East’s playoff championship trophy is the Lamoriello Trophy, named after the league’s first commissioner, Lou Lamoriello.
The trophy for the Eastern College Athletic Conference playoff championship is the Whitelaw Cup, named after former ECAC Commissioner Robert Whitelaw.
The Atlantic Hockey Playoff Championship Trophy is the Riley Trophy named after longtime former Army coach Jack Riley.
The Western Collegiate Hockey Association, which will be officially disbanded next month, played for the Jeff Sauer Trophy, named after longtime varsity hockey coach of Wisconsin and Colorado College.
And when the Central Collegiate Hockey Association returns to play next season after an eight-year hiatus, its playoff championship trophy will be called the Mason Cup, just as it was before the league disbanded in 2013. It will be called the Mason Cup. named after Ron Mason, the second most successful. coach in the history of college hockey.
The Big Ten and NCHC are the only men’s college hockey leagues that have not named their playoff trophies.
The Big Ten is unlikely to do so – they don’t name any of their playoff trophies in any sport – but is it time for the NCHC to consider naming their playoff trophy?
It is certainly not necessary. The league got along really well without that little detail. But it could help with the branding efforts and marketing of the league’s annual tournament, the NCHC Frozen Faceoff. After all, there’s a reason he named his regular season trophy ahead of his inaugural season.
If the league decides to do it, there are a few possibilities.
The first is the Broadmoor Trophy.
Next season will be the first since the NCAA began sponsoring hockey in the 1940s that the Broadmoor name will be absent from the sports landscape.
Beginning in 1948, the Broadmoor Ice Palace in Colorado Springs, Colorado, hosted the NCAA’s first 10 Frozen Ovens.
In 1985, the WCHA named its playoff championship award the Broadmoor Trophy. This lasted until 2018, when the league introduced a new trophy named after Sauer.
The name Broadmoor continued to live on in the Colorado College hockey arena. Even when a new ice rink was built in the 1990s, it was called the Broadmoor World Arena. But Colorado College will open its new rink, Ed Robson Arena, this fall.
The Broadmoor Arenas – the original that hosted the first and most recent Frozen Fours – will both have vanished from college hockey. The trophy is gone too.
It would be an apt name for the NCHC given that the league’s offices are located in the shadow of the Broadmoor Hotel.
The league could also choose to revive the Sauer Trophy, as Sauer was a former Colorado College player and coach. Maybe there’s a new idea as well, whether it’s someone who has a long association with college hockey or someone who was involved in starting the league.
In March, the NCHC Frozen Faceoff will return to its pre-pandemic home at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Fenton will walk back to the center of the ice rink, give a short speech, call in a team captain, and hand out the trophy. Will he have a name?