NCAA Women's Ice Hockey Tournament

The annual NCAA Women's Ice Hockey Tournament—officially known as the 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.

NCAA Women's Ice Hockey Tournament
SportCollege ice hockey
Number of teams8
FormatSingle-elimination tournament
Current stadiumPeople's United Center
Current locationHamden, Connecticut
Last contest2019
Current championWisconsin Badgers (5)
Most championshipsMinnesota Golden Gophers (6)
TV partner(s)BTN


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.[1] 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.[2] 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 Bulldogs 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, 41 schools in the United States, ranging from the Midwest to the East Coast, sponsor varsity women's hockey at the National Collegiate (Divisions I and II) level. Five National Collegiate conferences are currently recognized by the NCAA—College Hockey America, ECAC Hockey, Hockey East, New England Women's Hockey Alliance, and the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.

With a 30+ game schedule, competing for conference and national championships, NCAA Division I women's hockey has a demanding and 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.[3][4] 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 WCHA: 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 eight national title games, including the first five. Hockey East has had three title game appearances, twice by Boston University and once by Boston College, and the CHA has had one title appearance, by Mercyhurst in 2009.

2001Minnesota–Duluth4–2St. LawrenceMinneapolis, MNMariucci Arena
2002Minnesota–Duluth (2)3–2BrownDurham, NHWhittemore Center
2003Minnesota–Duluth (3)4–3 (2OT)HarvardDuluth, MNDECC Arena
2004Minnesota6–2HarvardProvidence, RIDunkin' Donuts Center
2005Minnesota (2)4–3HarvardDurham, NHWhittemore Center
2006Wisconsin3–0MinnesotaMinneapolis, MNMariucci Arena
2007Wisconsin (2)4–1Minnesota–DuluthLake Placid, NYHerb Brooks Arena
2008Minnesota–Duluth (4)4–0WisconsinDuluth, MNDECC Arena
2009Wisconsin (3)5–0MercyhurstBoston, MAAgganis Arena
2010Minnesota–Duluth (5)3–2 (3OT)CornellMinneapolis, MNRidder Arena
2011Wisconsin (4)4–1Boston UniversityErie, PAErie Insurance Arena
2012Minnesota (3)4–2WisconsinDuluth, MNAMSOIL Arena
2013Minnesota (4)6–3Boston UniversityMinneapolis, MNRidder Arena
2014Clarkson5–4MinnesotaHamden, CTPeople's United Center
2015Minnesota (5)4–1HarvardMinneapolis, MNRidder Arena[5]
2016Minnesota (6)3–1Boston CollegeDurham, NHWhittemore Center[5]
2017Clarkson (2)3–0WisconsinSt. Charles, MOFamily Arena[5]
2018Clarkson (3)2–1 (OT)ColgateMinneapolis, MNRidder Arena [5]
2019 Wisconsin (5) 2–0 Minnesota Hamden, CT People's United Center[6]
2020 TBD TBD TBD Boston, MA Agganis Arena[6]
2021 TBD TBD TBD Erie, PA Erie Insurance Arena[6]
2022 TBD TBD TBD State College, PA Pegula Ice Arena[6]

Team titles

Schools which have won the NCAA Championship
– 6 championships, – 5 championships, – 3 championships
Team Number Years won
Minnesota 6 2004, 2005, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016
Minnesota–Duluth 5 2001, 2002, 2003, 2008, 2010
Wisconsin 5 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2019
Clarkson 3 2014, 2017, 2018

Result by school and year

24 teams have appeared in the NCAA Tournament in at least one year starting with 2001 (the initial year that the post-season tournament was under the auspices of the NCAA). The results for all years are shown in this table below.

The code in each cell represents the furthest the team made it in the respective tournament:

  •  QF  Quarterfinals (did not exist until 2005)
  •  F4  Frozen Four
  •  RU  National Runner-up
  •  CH  National Champion
Boston College11F4QFF4F4F4QFF4RUF4QFQF
Boston University6QFRUQFRUQFQF
New Hampshire5F4QFF4QFQF
North Dakota2QFQF
Ohio State1F4
Robert Morris1QF


In February 2017, the NCAA announced that it had reached a four-year deal with Big Ten Network to televise the Women's national championship game beginning in 2017, and the Frozen Four semi-finals beginning in 2018.[7]

Year Network Play-by-play Analyst Sideline
2019 BTN Chris Vosters Sonny Watrous Margaux Farrell
2018 BTN Dan Kelly Sonny Watrous Allison Hayes
2017 BTN (Championship) (Frozen Four)
Dan Kelly
Scott Sudikoff
Sonny Watrous Sara Dayley
2016 Scott Sudikoff
2015 Leah Secondo
2014 Leah Secondo AJ Mleczko

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. About Girls/Womens' (sic) Hockey
  3. "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.
  4. "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.
  5. "Boston, Tampa, Chicago, St. Paul get upcoming men's Frozen Fours". December 11, 2013. Retrieved December 11, 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.
  6. "2019 - 2022 Future NC NCAA Championship Sites". April 18, 2017. Retrieved August 24, 2017.
  7. "College hockey: Women's Frozen Four to air on Big Ten Network". Retrieved March 17, 2017.
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