Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa wastes no time to lobby for another Frozen Four

TAMPA — Within minutes of a second successful Frozen Four in four seasons wrapping up here, Rob Higgins started work on bringing college hockey's big event back to Amalie Arena as soon as possible.

"WE WANT YOU BACK" said a well-timed billboard on Channelside Drive, unveiled late Saturday night after North Dakota beat Quinnipiac 5-1 to win its eighth national championship.

The announced attendance of 19,538 was the third-largest for a Frozen Four title game.

"We've received a lot of positive feedback — we're interested to hear from the student-athletes, coaches and fans, but early signs so far are pretty strong," said Higgins, executive director of the Tampa Bay Sports Commission. "Our hats are off to all of our partners to make a once-in-a-lifetime event happen at a really high level twice."

Tampa hosted in 2012, and bids will be taken in the fall by the NCAA to host four championships from 2019-22. Tampa already is hosting the women's basketball Final Four in 2019, so Higgins said his focus is on bringing the Frozen Four back in 2020, 2021 or 2022.

"We're really focused on having a long-term relationship with the Frozen Four," he said.

THE FUTURE: Many of the biggest names in the Frozen Four are unknown to casual hockey fans but don't be surprised to see a few become NHL stars in a few years.

When the Frozen Four was in Tampa in 2012, few knew who Boston College's Johnny Gaudreau or Union's Shayne Gostisbehere were. Four years later, Gaudreau is sixth in the NHL in scoring with 30 goals for the Flames; Gostisbehere is a Calder Trophy candidate, given to the league's top rookie. He has 16 goals as a defenseman for the Flyers.

Who could quickly jump from this Frozen Four to NHL stardom? North Dakota's Brock Boeser and Nick Schmaltz have already been NHL first-round picks, Schmaltz to the Blackhawks in 2014 and Boeser to the Canucks in 2015.

Quinnipiac's Sam Anas is among several draft prospects for the Bobcats, and from the two teams eliminated Thursday, Boston College goalie Thatcher Demko, a Hobey Baker finalist, is a former Canucks second-round pick who could forego his senior year, and Denver forward Danton Heinen is a Bruins prospect.

WELCOME BACK: Former Lightning star Marty St. Louis, who played in the Frozen Four for Vermont in 1996, got a big cheer from the Tampa crowd as he walked out for the pregame ceremonial puck drop.

THIS AND THAT: After stopping in Tampa for the second time in four years, the Frozen Four goes to the United Center in Chicago for the first time in 2017, then the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn., in 2018. … While much was made of North Dakota's prolific offense, its defense held 15 of its previous 16 opponents to two goals or fewer.

Contact Greg Auman at [email protected] and (813) 310-2690. Follow @gregauman.

Tampa wastes no time to lobby for another Frozen Four 04/09/16 [Last modified: Sunday, April 10, 2016 12:01am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. NFL players, owners hold 'constructive' talks on issues

    Bucs

    NEW YORK — NFL players and owners met Tuesday to discuss social issues, a session Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross called "constructive."

    A coalition of advocacy groups 'take a knee' outside of a hotel where members the quarterly NFL league meetings are being held on Tuesday in New York City.  Owners, players and commissioner Roger Goodell are all expected to attend. The activists spoke of having solidarity with athletes and coaches around the country who have also kneeled in protest of racial injustice, especially in policing.
 [Getty Images]
  2. Lightning's Steve Yzerman: Nikita Kucherov 'wants to be great'

    Blogs

    If anyone knows what it is like to be as hot as Nikita Kucherov is right now, it's Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman.

    Nikita Kucherov joined Steve Yzerman, Mario Lemieux and Keith Tkachuk as the only players in the last 30 years to score a goal in each of his team's first six games.
  3. Fennelly: Longtime Bucs fans, we want to hear from you

    Blogs

    Calling all Bucs fans! Calling all Bucs fans!

    Jameis Winston is pressured by Chandler Jones during the Bucs' loss to the Cardinals Sunday in Glendale, Ariz.
  4. A punter is the state's only first-team, midseason All-American

    Blogs

    Here's another indictment of how mediocre the state's college football season has become.

  5. HomeTeam 25: Football rankings for Tampa Bay

    Footballpreps

    1. Armwood (7-0)

    Up next: vs. Brandon

    Armwood quarterback Devin Black (7) shakes hands with Plant defensive back Keon King (26) after the game between Plant High School Panthers and the Armwood High School Hawks in Suffer, Fla. on Monday, Oct. 16, 2017. The Hawks beat the Panthers 27-7.