INDIANAPOLIS -- The National Collegiate Women’s Ice Hockey Committee announced today the field of eight teams which will compete for the 11th National Collegiate Women’s Ice Hockey Championship. Quarterfinal competition will be conducted on the campuses of the participating institutions, while the 2011 Women’s Frozen Four will be hosted by Mercyhurst College, March 18 and 20, at Louis J. Tullio Arena in Erie, Pennsylvania.

Eight teams are selected for the championship. Of the eight teams, the top four teams will be seeded.

Three conferences were awarded automatic bids for the 2011 tournament. The remaining five teams were selected at-large. The automatic qualifying conferences and their representatives are the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, University of Wisconsin, Madison; ECAC Hockey, Cornell University; and Hockey East Association, Boston College. Boston University, Dartmouth College, Mercyhurst College, University of Minnesota, Duluth, and the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities were all selected as at-large teams.

Two teams will compete at each of the four quarterfinal sites. Quarterfinals will be played Saturday, March 12, at the following sites: Boston College, Boston U., Cornell and Wisconsin. The winning team from each quarterfinal will advance to the 2011 Women’s Frozen Four.

Wisconsin enters the tournament as the No. 1 seed and will host Minnesota Duluth on Saturday, March 12 at 7 p.m. No. 2 seeded Cornell will host Dartmouth on Saturday, March 12 at 2 p.m. Boston U. enters the tournament as the No. 3 seed, and will host Mercyhurst, March 12 at 3 p.m. Boston College, the No. 4 seed, will take on Minnesota on March 12 at 1 p.m. All times are local to the site.

Minnesota Duluth won the championship the first three years of the tournament (2001, 2002 and 2003), while the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, claimed the next two (2004 and 2005). In 2006, Wisconsin became the first team outside of the state of Minnesota to capture the NCAA Women’s Frozen Four title after defeating the Golden Gophers, 3-0 at Mariucci Arena in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Wisconsin again won the championship in 2007, defeating Minnesota Duluth 4-1 at Olympic Arena in Lake Placid, New York.

Minnesota Duluth defeated Wisconsin 4-0 to win the 2008 championship. Wisconsin recaptured the title in 2009 with a 5-0 win over Mercyhurst. Minnesota Duluth again won the 2010 championship, defeating Cornell 3-2.

The semifinal games will be played at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. Eastern time, Friday, March 18, and streamed live on NCAA.com. The championship game will be played live at 2 p.m. Eastern time, Sunday, March 20, on NCAA.com. For more information regarding the National Collegiate Women’s Ice Hockey Championship, log on to www.NCAA.com.