The Frozen Four. NOT coming to a TD Garden near you. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is reporting that the NCAA has selected the host cities for the 2013 and 2014 Frozen Fours. Boston, a city that is arguably the epicenter of college hockey in the Eastern US, is not among those cities.
According to a source with knowledge of the situation, the 2013 Frozen Four was awarded to the city of Pittsburgh, while the 2014 Frozen Four was awarded to Philadelphia:
The NCAA has selected Pittsburgh as host of the 2013 Frozen Four, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.
The event, which is similar to college basketball's Final Four, will take place at the Consol Energy Center.
Robert Morris University sponsored the bid with support from VisitPittsburgh and the Penguins.
Boston, Washington, Philadelphia and St. Louis were also under consideration. Philadelphia was selected for the 2014 Frozen Four.
Looking on the bright side, I'm happy that the Frozen Four will be held on the East coast and that the NCAA continues to bring new cities into the fold. But a Pittsburgh Frozen Four hosted by Robert Morris University? A Philadelphia Frozen Four hosted by the ECAC? Those host cities aren't exactly college hockey hotbeds, nor are the host institutions college hockey powerhouses.
The 2014 Frozen Four in Philadelphia will mark 10 years since Boston last hosted a Frozen Four. In that time, the event will have been hosted in the following college hockey-rich cities: Tampa, Washington, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. The fact that the 2012-2014 Frozen Fours will all be held on the East coast - Tampa, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia - most certainly means that the event will move back west in 2015, and probably stays west in 2016.
The NCAA really needs to stop playing footsies with these other Eastern US cities and bring the event back to Boston. Boston-area schools have played in the Division I National Championship game slightly more than 1 out of every 3 times. The city is home to the last three National Champions. Not only that, but with Hockey East, the ECAC and most of Atlantic Hockey playing in either New York or New England, over half of the Division I men's college hockey programs are within a short drive of Boston.
Unfortunately, it's looking like Boston won't get a crack at hosting the Frozen Four until 2017 at the earliest.