LAS VEGAS (Sept. 17, 2018) – College hockey returns to T-Mobile Arena in January when four of the nation’s top programs face-off in the second-annual Ice Vegas Invitational. The four-team tournament, featuring UConn, Air Force, Western Michigan and St. Lawrence, will be played January 4-5, 2019 as announced Monday by bd Global, who will promote the event in partnership with T-Mobile Arena, home of the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights.
The NCAA Division I action commences on Friday, Jan. 4, 2019 with UConn versus Western Michigan at 5 p.m. PT followed by Air Force facing St. Lawrence at 8:30 p.m. The championship and consolation games will be played Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019, with game times both days scheduled for 5 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
“We are thrilled with this lineup in year two of staging this tournament,” said Brooks Downing, president of bd Global (www.bdglobalsports.com). “There’s so much interest in Las Vegas and T-Mobile Arena from the college hockey community and that’s largely due in part to the massive success of the Golden Knights. Hockey fans here in the Valley will be able to see some of the very best talent in the sport, future professional stars.”
Western Michigan, expected to be a Top-25 team for the upcoming season, saw 10 of its players participate in NHL Development Camps this past summer. Three of those players, Corey Schueneman, Dawson DiPietero and Paul Cotter, participated in the Vegas Golden Knights’ camp. Cotter, a freshman forward for WMU, was selected by the Golden Knights in the fourth round of the NHL Draft. The Broncos will face a talented UConn team that will add four incoming freshmen that were selected in the NHL Draft – Ruslan Iskakov (43rd overall by the New York Islanders), Jáchym Kondelík (111th by Nashville), Kale Howarth (148th by Columbus) and Tomas Vomacka (154th by Nashville).
Air Force will be a local favorite given that Las Vegas is home to Nellis Air Force Base, home to more than 9,500 military and civilians as part of its work force. Air Force won its seventh Atlantic Hockey Conference title in the last 12 years last season and advanced to the NCAA Tourmament. The Falcons defeated No. 1 St. Cloud State to advance to the Elite Eight before falling to eventual National Champion Minnesota Duluth. Air Force will be led by Cadet 1st Class Kyle Haak whom was selected as both the Air Force Association Cadet of the Year and U.S. Air Force Cadet of the Year for 2018. Haak, one of seven seniors whom will lead this season’s team, hopes to become an Air Force fighter pilot after graduation next summer. Air Force will be tested in the opening round by a rising St. Lawrence program led by coach Mark Morris whom holds the destinction as being the only coach to have won 300 college games and 300 professional games. The Saints add one of the best recruiting classes in program history to a strong returning lineup.
Tickets will go on-sale on Friday, Sept. 21 at 10 a.m. PT at AXS.com or by calling 888-9AXSTIX. Ticket information and hotel room information for fans can be found at www.icevegasinvitational.com.
Friday, Jan. 4
• UConn vs. Western Michigan – 5 p.m.
• Air Force vs. St. Lawrence – 8:30 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 5
• Consolation Game – 5 p.m.
• Championship Game – 8:30 p.m.
All times are Pacific.