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National Collegiate women's ice hockey championship

NCAA Women's Ice Hockey Tournament
Sport College ice hockey
Number of teams 8
Format Single-elimination tournament
Current stadium Ridder Arena
Current location Minneapolis, Minnesota
Played 2001–present
Last contest 2015
Current champion Minnesota Golden Gophers (5)
Most championships Minnesota Golden Gophers (5) Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs (5)
Official website [2]

The annual National Collegiate Women's Ice Hockey Championship is a college ice hockey tournament held in the United States by the National Collegiate Athletic Association to determine the top women's team in the NCAA.


  • Origins 1
  • NCAA Division I Women's Ice Hockey 2
  • Format 3
  • History 4
  • Team titles 5
  • Records and Statistics 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


The NCAA Championship of Women's Ice Hockey began in 2001, although several universities had had women's teams established since the early 1970s.

In 1965, the first collegiate women's ice hockey team in the United States was created at Brown University. In February 1966, the team, named the "Pembroke Pandas", played its first match. Their opponents were the Walpole Brooms, a non-collegiate team. The women's ice hockey program of Cornell University began in 1971. The Big Red team competed in its first match in 1972, which it won 4–3, against Scarborough. In 1972, they played eight matches and lost half, including two defeats against the Pembroke Pandas. Yale University made its debut in women's hockey on December 9, 1975. The University of Minnesota-Duluth, the University of New Hampshire, and the rest Ivy League have similar histories.[1]

In 1976, Brown University would host the first ever Ivy League women's ice hockey tournament. Competitors in the tournament included Princeton, Yale, and Cornell, which won the tournament. Women's ice hockey continued growth and acceptance continued through the early 1980s.[2] In 1984, the Providence Friars won the inaugural ECAC women's ice hockey championship.

In the 1997–98 season, the American Women's College Hockey Alliance (AWCHA) made its debut. It was financed by United States Olympic Committee.[3] This allowed for the first national women's ice hockey championship to occur, which was won by New Hampshire. The 1997–98 season also saw the creation of the Patty Kazmaier Award, designed to recognize the most remarkable women's collegiate ice hockey player every season. The AWCHA also conducted championships in 1999 and 2000, which were won by Harvard and Minnesota respectively.

During the 1999–2000 season, WCHA joined the ECAC in an attempt to make women's ice hockey an NCAA sanctioned sport. In August 2000, the NCAA announced that it would set up a national division of women's ice hockey with a national championship at the end of every season, starting with the 2000–01 season. The Minnesota-Duluth won the inaugural tournament and, by extension, championship 4–2 against the St. Lawrence Skating Saints.

NCAA Division I Women's Ice Hockey

In all, 35 schools in the United States, ranging from the Midwest to the East Coast, sponsor varsity women's hockey. Four National Collegiateconferences currently exist—College Hockey America, ECAC Hockey, Hockey East, and the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. With a 30+ game schedule, competing for conference and national championships, NCAA Division I women’s hockey is a demanding and extremely challenging season.


Under NCAA rules, Division II schools are allowed to compete as Division I members in sports that offer championships only in Divisions I and III.[4][5] As there is no Division II championship for women's ice hockey, this rule applies to the tournament. The official name of the "Division I" tournament is the National Collegiate Women's Ice Hockey Championship, which reflects the NCAA's formal terminology for championship events that are open to schools from multiple divisions.

This tournament is a single elimination competition of eight teams. The semi-finals and finals are called the "Women's Frozen Four." This moniker is similar to the name used by the NCAA Men's Ice Hockey Championship. The term is derived from the term "Final four."

The Patty Kazmaier Award ceremony takes place annually during Women's Frozen Four weekend.


Although many schools from many conferences have been competitive, the first 13 championships were won by only three different schools all originating from the WHCA: Minnesota-Duluth, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. In 2014, the WCHA's hold on the championship was finally broken when Clarkson defeated Minnesota. The ECAC, from which Clarkson originated, has easily been the second most competitive conference, with appearances in seven national title games, including the first five. Hockey East has had title game two appearances, both by Boston University, and the CHA has had one title appearance, by Mercyhurst in 2009.

Year Champion Score Runner-up City Arena
2001 Minnesota–Duluth 4–2 St. Lawrence Minneapolis, MN Mariucci Arena
2002 Minnesota–Duluth (2) 3–2 Brown Durham, NH Whittemore Center
2003 Minnesota–Duluth (3) 4–3 2OT Harvard Duluth, MN DECC
2004 Minnesota 6–2 Harvard Providence, RI Dunkin' Donuts Center
2005 Minnesota(2) 4–3 Harvard Durham, NH Whittemore Center
2006 Wisconsin 3–0 Minnesota Minneapolis, MN Mariucci Arena
2007 Wisconsin (2) 4–1 Minnesota–Duluth Lake Placid, NY Herb Brooks Arena
2008 Minnesota–Duluth (4) 4–0 Wisconsin Duluth, MN DECC
2009 Wisconsin (3) 5–0 Mercyhurst Boston, MA Agganis Arena
2010 Minnesota–Duluth (5)) 3–2 3OT Cornell Minneapolis, MN Ridder Arena
2011 Wisconsin (4) 4–1 Boston University Erie, PA Erie Insurance Arena
2012 Minnesota (3) 4–2 Wisconsin Duluth, MN AMSOIL Arena
2013 Minnesota (4) 6–3 Boston University Minneapolis, MN Ridder Arena
2014 Clarkson 5–4 Minnesota Hamden, CT TD Bank Sports Center
2015 Minnesota (5) 4–1 Harvard Minneapolis, MN Ridder Arena[6]
2016 TBD TBD TBD Durham, NH Whittemore Center[6]
2017 TBD TBD TBD St. Charles, MO Family Arena[6]
2018 TBD TBD TBD Minneapolis, MN Ridder Arena[6]

Team titles

Team Number Years won
Minnesota Duluth 5 2001, 2002, 2003, 2008, 2009
Minnesota 5 2004, 2005, 2012, 2013, 2015
Wisconsin 4 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011
Clarkson 1 2014

Records and Statistics

See also


  1. ^ Michael McKinley, Hockey A People's History, McClelland & Stewart ltd 2006, pp 237–238. ISBN 978-0-7710-5769-4
  2. ^ Michael McKinley, Hockey A People's History, McClelland & Stewart ltd 2006, pp 237-238. ISBN 978-0-7710-5769-4
  3. ^ About Girls Womens' Hockey
  4. ^ "Bylaw Divisions II and III Members—Classification of a Sport in Division I" (PDF). 2010–11 NCAA Division I Manual. NCAA. p. 333. Retrieved October 6, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Bylaw 20.8.2 Division II Options When No Division II Championship Is Conducted" (PDF). 2010–11 NCAA Division I Manual. NCAA. p. 338. Retrieved October 6, 2010. 
  6. ^ a b c d "Boston, Tampa, Chicago, St. Paul get upcoming men’s Frozen Fours". 11 December 2013. Retrieved 11 December 2013. Women’s Frozen Fours were awarded to Minneapolis’ Ridder Arena in 2015 and 2018; the Whittemore Center Arena in Durham, N.H., in 2016; and the Family Arena in St. Charles, Mo., in 2017. 

External links

  • NCAA Division I women ice hockey page
  • NCAA Division III women ice hockey page
  • NCAA Ice Hockey, Division I Women's Records
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