ALBANY, N.Y. — ECAC Hockey announced that it has reach an agreement with the New York State Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) to conduct its annual men’s championship at the 1980 Rink – Herb Brooks Arena, Lake Placid, N.Y. The agreement is a three-year term and is set to begin in March 2014.
The 1980 Rink – Herb Brooks Arena will be the fifth different venue and sixth time the men’s championship has experienced a location change in the league’s history. The championship has previously been conducted at Boston Arena (1962-66), Boston Garden (1967-92), Olympic Arena in Lake Placid, N.Y.(1993-02), Pepsi Arena/Times Union Center (2003-10), and Boardwalk Hall (2011-2013). The event will bring the elite ECAC Hockey conference, comprised of 12 of the most prestigious men’s ice hockey programs in the nation, to the heart of the adirondacks.
“We are thrilled to partner with ORDA for our men’s championship beginning in March 2014,” ECAC Hockey commissioner Steve Hagwell said. “Lake Placid has always been one of the special hockey places in the U.S. The combination of the warm welcome from the surrounding community, aura of the venue, and general support will be easily abosorbed by fans and students alike. The location serves as a prime choice for enhancing the overall student-athlete experience.”
The 1908 Rink – Herb Brooks Arena, one of three ice surfaces at the Olympic Center, is a 8,500-seat multi-purpose arena in Lake Placid, N.Y. This surface, along with the USA Rink was built for the 1980 Winter Olympics. Six different ECAC Hockey programs claimed championship titles when the marquee league event was previously held in Lake Placid with Clarkson (1993 & 1999), Cornell (1996 & 1997), Harvard (1994 & 2002), and St. Lawrence (2000, & 2001) earning multiple Whitelaw Cups, along with Princeton (1998) winning the school’s first-ever title and Rensselaer (1995) capturing one.
The historic venues played host to the 1980 winter Olympic men’s ice hockey tournament and is home to the century’s most famous game ever played, the “Miracle on Ice” where the United States defeated the former Soviet Union 4-3 en route to the improbable gold medal. The figure skating competitions also were held in this arena. In 2005, to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the American victory, the arena was named after the late Herb Brooks, who coached United States team during the 1980 Olympics.
The arena has been used several times for college hockey championships in the United States. It hosted the 1970, 1984 and 1988 men’s NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Championship, commonly referred to as the Frozen Four. The arena has hosted the NCAA Women’s Ice Hockey Championship as well, in 2007.
“We in Lake Placid and the Olympic Authority have always remained supportive of the ECAC Hockey, its members athletes, coaches, and fans,” Ted Blazer CEO/president ORDA said. “With this news of the return we are excited to once again greet the teams alumni and fans back to this unbelievable winter sports and hockey town. We are thrilled with the decision and welcome back the championship.”