Big Ten Announces Hockey Conference Tournament Sites

DETROIT, MI - APRIL 13: Fans climb the stairs to enter the arena to see the Phoenix Coyotes play the Detroit Red Wings in Game One of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at at Joe Louis Arena on April 13, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan.(Photo By Dave Sandford/Getty Images)

The Big Ten Conference will officially begin to sponsor hockey starting with the 2013-14 season, and now the leagues conference tournament has an official home. Well, two homes to be exact.

It was announced Thursday that the end of the season league tournament will rotate between St. Paul and Detroit for the first four years of the newly formed hockey conference. The 2014 and 2016 tournaments will be held at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, while the 2015 and 2017 tournaments will be at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.

The tournament will be a single elimination format featuring all six league members (Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, and Michigan State). The Big Ten tournament will be a three day event, with the leagues #4 seed playing the #5 in one quarter-final on Thursday, and the #3 seed playing the #6 seed in the other quarter-final. The top two seeds will receive byes to the semi-finals on Friday, with a championship game to be played on Saturday.

The Big Ten Hockey Conference came to fruition when Penn State announced that they were starting their program thanks to a generous donation of 88 million dollars from a wealthy alumni. With six Big Ten schools now sponsoring hockey, the league announced that it would form it's own hockey conference starting in 2013-14.

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Chuck can also be reached via e-mail at chuckschwartz@live.com

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