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 gauman@tampabay.com 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. For starters: Rays at Twins, with Cobb pitching with a purpose

    Blogs

    UPDATE, 12:34: Cash said he has been pleased with Sucre's work and is trying to find playing time for him. ... Cash also said after reading Farquhar's comments about having trouble re-focusing after getting out of a jam and then going back out for a second inning he will factor that in to how he uses him. ... …

  2. St. Petersburg's Sebastien Bourdais vows to return for IndyCar finale

    Auto racing

    INDIANAPOLIS — Sebastien Bourdais was in one of the best race cars he'd ever had, so fast that most of his competitors thought he would win the pole for the Indianapolis 500.

    Sebastien Bourdais does physical therapy at the Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana in Indianapolis. Bourdais broke his pelvis, hip and two ribs in an accident during qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 on May 20. He plans to return home to St. Petersburg soon to continue therapy. [Associated Press]
  3. Yellow cards stall Rowdies offense in tie with St. Louis

    Soccer

    ST. PETERSBURG — It's not the result they wanted, but it certainly could have been worse. Neill Collins' 87th-minute header off a corner kick was the reward the Rowdies settled for Saturday night during a 1-1 draw with St. Louis before an announced 6,068 at Al Lang Stadium.

  4. Calvary Christian routs Pensacola Catholic to win state baseball title

    Baseballpreps

    FORT MYERS — Calvary Christian left no doubt as to which baseball team in Class 4A was the best in Florida this season. The Warriors defeated Pensacola Catholic 11-1 in six innings Saturday night at Hammond Stadium to claim the school's first state championship in any team sport. It also solidified a 30-0 season. …

    Matheu Nelson celebrates after scoring on a wild pitch during the first inning, when Calvary Christian took a 6-0 lead.
  5. Numerous lapses add up to frustrating Rays loss to Twins

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — While the Rays made some good defensive plays, threw a couple of big pitches when they needed to and got a few, and just a few, key hits, there were some obvious things they did wrong that led to them losing Saturday's game to the Twins 5-3:

    Rays reliever Tommy Hunter says the Twins’ tiebreaking homer came on a pitch that was “close to where I wanted it.”