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NCAA Committee Supports Expanded Women's Hockey Tournament

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The Division I Competition Oversight Committee on Tuesday supported the recommended format of an expanded 11-team bracket in the National Collegiate Women's Ice Hockey Championship, effective for 2022.

The proposal still must be approved by the Division I Council, which is scheduled to meet Dec. 15.

Under the format proposed by the National Collegiate Women's Ice Hockey Committee:

  • The top five seeds in the tournament would receive first-round byes. The fifth-seeded team would play at the campus site of one of the top four seeds.
  • Three first-round games would be played at the campus sites of three of the top four seeds in the tournament. The winners of first-round game would receive a day off before playing in the quarterfinals of the tournament. 
  • The four second-round winners would advance to the Women's Frozen Four March 18-20 in Park, Pennsylvania. 

The women's ice hockey committee thinks this format allows the tournament to stay on its current schedule. Committee members believe it is important to make sure there is a day of rest for teams after competing in the first round, then having to face a team that received a bye into the quarterfinals. The committee also thinks having teams host on campus could enhance the championship atmosphere for the players.

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