The Frozen Four may be returning to Buffalo for the first time since 2003.
Two respected college hockey writers, including John Connolly of the Boston Herald, report that the area is believed to have been selected as the site for the 2020 NCAA men’s ice hockey semifinals and national championship game.
The NCAA will announce the venues for the 2019-2022 Frozen Fours on April 18.
The Herald reports that Detroit, Buffalo, Boston and Pittsburgh will be the host cities during those years.
Canisius College and Buffalo Sabres officials confirmed the area has submitted a bid but added they wouldn’t know the process’ outcome until the official announcement.
“We won’t know until April 18,” said Matt Reitnour, Canisius’ assistant athletic director for communications.
The last time the Frozen Four came to Buffalo 14 years ago, Minnesota defeated New Hampshire for the championship. Michigan and Cornell were the other participants as future Buffalo Sabre forward Thomas Vanek earned MVP honors for the Golden Gophers.
While the men’s hockey championships haven’t returned to the area since ‘03, Buffalo is no stranger to hosting big-time events.
Since 2000, the NCAA men’s basketball tournament has contested its first two rounds in Buffalo six times -- including last month.
This winter, Buffalo will host the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship for the second time since 2010. Meanwhile, HarborCenter has hosted the New York State Public High Schools Athletic Association final four the past two years.
“I know the NCAA enjoys coming here from the basketball sense of it,” Reitnour said. “We were in the bidding process the last time (for hockey). ... I have to believe the NCAA sees the excitement this area gets when the basketball comes here.”
Buffalo was among the 10 finalists the last time Frozen Fours were awarded by the NCAA, but Boston, Tampa, Chicago and St. Paul, Minn., were selected as host sites for 2015-18.