Saturday, January 20, 2018
Colleges

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.

   
Comments
Florida wins big SEC showdown with Kentucky

Florida wins big SEC showdown with Kentucky

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Jalen Hudson came off the bench to score 17, and Chris Chiozza, Keith Stone and Kevarrius Hayes contributed clutch baskets down the stretch as Florida rallied to upset No. 18 Kentucky 66-64 Saturday night. "We were able to win it jus...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Gary Trent, Duke rally past Miami with 18-0 run

Gary Trent, Duke rally past Miami with 18-0 run

CORAL GABLES — Gary Trent scored a season-high 30 and No. 5 Duke needed less than three minutes to erase a 13-point second-half deficit, scoring 18 consecutive points to overtake No. 25 Miami 83-75 on Monday night. The Blue Devils scored 15 in six po...
Published: 01/15/18

Shrine Game journal: Homecoming for Utah OL Salesi Uhatafe; Quinton Flowers works on snaps

ST. PETERSBURG — Salesi Uhatafe is back in his hometown, and though he moved to Texas when he was still a baby, it’s very much a homecoming as the former Utah offensive lineman plays in Saturday’s East-West Shrine Game at Tropicana Field."I’ll probab...
Published: 01/15/18
Iowa State’s two-way star Joel Lanning practicing at linebacker for East-West Shrine Game

Iowa State’s two-way star Joel Lanning practicing at linebacker for East-West Shrine Game

ST. PETERSBURG — Joel Lanning has the unique distinction of being listed as an "LB/QB" on the West roster for Saturday’s East-West Shrine Game at Tropicana Field.And while the former Iowa State star spent the entire practice at middle linebacker Mond...
Published: 01/15/18
Keith Jackson, leading college football broadcaster, dies at 89

Keith Jackson, leading college football broadcaster, dies at 89

Keith Jackson, the folksy voice of college football who for decades weaved backwoods wit through Saturday afternoon ABC broadcasts, died Friday night. He was 89.In a 52-year broadcasting career, Mr. Jackson covered a wide variety of sports for radio ...
Published: 01/13/18
No. 24 FSU outlasts Syracuse in double overtime

No. 24 FSU outlasts Syracuse in double overtime

TALLAHASSEE — Florida State squandered a double-digit halftime lead for the second straight game. This time, it was able to overcome that.The 23rd-ranked Seminoles scored the first six in the second overtime to propel them to a 101-90 victory over Sy...
Published: 01/13/18

Florida manhandled in paint by Ole Miss for first SEC loss

OXFORD, Miss. — Florida came into its matchup focused on stopping a talented group of Ole Miss guards.But it was the play of the frontcourt that did in the Gators on Saturday afternoon.Bruce Stevens scored 22, Deandre Burnett added 20 and Mississippi...
Published: 01/13/18
South Carolina gives Will Muschamp new $28 million deal

South Carolina gives Will Muschamp new $28 million deal

COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina coach Will Muschamp received a new six-year, $28.2 million contract after a nine-win season that culminated with a victory over Michigan in the Outback Bowl. Muschamp’s contract was approved Friday by the school’s boar...
Published: 01/12/18
Jones: March Madness is weeks away. What’s up with college basketball?

Jones: March Madness is weeks away. What’s up with college basketball?

We’ve been a little busy lately.What with Dirk Koetter staying and Evan Longoria going. We’ve been distracted by UCF and amazed by Alabama. There has been Jon Gruden news and what is shaping up to be a very special season for the Lightning.With all t...
Published: 01/11/18
Updated: 01/12/18
Bobby Bowden: Dadgum it, UCF has a gripe

Bobby Bowden: Dadgum it, UCF has a gripe

Former Florida State coach Bobby Bowden is 88 and still keeps a busy schedule of speaking engagements. On Wednesday he was in Omaha, Neb. — his fourth city in a week — to receive the Tom Osborne Legacy Award for his contributions to college football ...
Published: 01/11/18