Well, this is a tough one to write.
I’m really not sure what to say, so I will start with this.
The NHL and NHLPA are locked in a stalemate. The NCAA hockey at Sprint Center last weekend is about the best hockey you will see in North America. Yes, the AHL has higher quality hockey, but I’m not sure you will find guys playing with the passion we saw last weekend. College hockey is just three hours away in Omaha and it’s not tough to get a ticket since CenturyLink Arena seats about 16K.
The problem is that you don’t know much about NCAA hockey. Flubber McGee at Lost City of Bettman has your back. He as provided you, the 14 readers of PucKChaser, with Introducing the Unscientific, Arbitrary, Favorite College Hockey Team Deciding Flowchart It’s brilliant. Read it! Every direction provides a good laugh. I loved trying to get to Pat Ferschweiler’s Western Michigan Broncos.
Now, for the Ice Breaker. Great games. All the games, except UN-O vs. Army were one goal games.
I really enjoyed Saturday night’s UN-O – Notre Dame game. I think UN-O may actually be a bit better than ND, even though ND has about six players from the US National Development Team. Notre Dame got a couple of fluky goals in the first period and was able to hang on for the win.
The crowd, well, wasn’t good. You know, college hockey is a tough sell in October in the Midwest. On Friday nights, high school football is huge. On Saturday, KU and MU had home games — home games that got rain delayed, but still home games. Plus, the influx of youth players from the youth tournament in KC didn’t happen. Oh, yes, there were several teams in KC, but they didn’t attend the games. It seems the limited ice time in KC forced the tournament organizers to schedule youth games at the same time as the Ice Breaker games. Another reason why it’s just a shame that the focus hasn’t been on putting more sheets of ice in KC rather than chasing the Quixotic dream that an NHL team will come to KC. It’s a noble dream, but totally unrealistic.
So, let me get this straight…we have a college hockey tournament at Sprint Center that needed more attendance.
The game is promoted along with a youth tournament that attracted youth teams from around the Midwest.
By having these teams in town, it should have boosted attendance.
So many teams came that games had to be scheduled when the youth players were supposed flooding Sprint Center.
All the while, a potential sheet of ice in the West Bottoms SAT COMPLETELY DARK. And Kansas City wonders what to do with Kemper. USE IT!!! Put the ice down and schedule a tournament. Heck, put basketball floors down and host youth basketball tournaments! Don’t you think Scott Drew and Greg McDermott and Danny Manning and all the D1 coaches that squeeze into Okun Fieldhouse wouldn’t rather attend AAU games in Kemper?
Now, does the poor attendance mean Kansas City won’t get a Frozen Four? Well, it depends on whether the people who make these decisions are rational human beings or not. You simply can’t compare the attendance at the Ice Breaker tournament to the potential attendance at the Frozen Four.
You see, the Frozen Four is held the second week of April. March Madness and KU’s victory in the Final Four will be complete.
There is hardly any other competition for the entertainment dollar the second week of April because the Royals will be 51/2 games.
WILL KC still host the Frozen Four? I hope so. CAN KC host the Frozen Four? I think so. But, then again, I thought attendance at the Ice Breaker would be better…