WMU, Van Andel Arena Awarded

Western Michigan University and Van Andel Arena have successfully landed bids to host National Collegiate Athletic Association Hockey Midwest Regionals in 2005 and 2007. The announcement was made today by the NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Committee, which determined regional sites through the year 2008 and granted Frozen Fours to St. Louis (2007) and Denver (2008).

The fifth and sixth NCAA Regionals at Van Andel will take place March 25-26, 2005 and March 23-24, 2007 respectively.

Last summer, WMU and Van Andel Arena were awarded the 2004 Midwest Regional after partnering on NCAA Tournament games in 1997 and 2001 that set regional attendance records. NCAA Hockey returns to Van Andel on March 27-28, 2004 as one of four regional sites hosting the 16-team tournament. "We are very excited that the NCAA has given us the opportunity to host future regionals," said WMU Director of Athletics Kathy Beauregard. "We have a great relationship with Van Andel Arena and look forward to making the NCAA Regionals a regular occurrence in Grand Rapids."

"Being awarded the regionals is outstanding news for WMU, Van Andel Arena and the Central Collegiate Hockey Association. We are obviously very proud to be associated with such a prestigious event and a first-class venue in Van Andel Arena," said WMU Head Coach Jim Culhane, whose Broncos are no strangers to the NCAA Tournament, having made three appearances (1996, 1994, 1986) during the program's history.

NCAA Hockey continues to be breeding ground for the National Hockey League. Collegiate players accounted for 30 percent of the first round picks in last week's NHL Entry Draft. A total of 40 players from the two regionals at Van Andel have gone on to the NHL, including goaltender Marty Turco of the Dallas Stars and 41-goal scorer Dany Heatley of the Atlanta Thrashers (see list).

The NCAAs at Van Andel

The 1997 West Regional drew Michigan, North Dakota, Miami (Ohio), Minnesota, Michigan State and Cornell in that seeding order. Michigan and North Dakota advanced to the Frozen Four as the Fighting Sioux captured the national crown * session crowds of 8,156 and 8,642 were the largest ever for a West Regional venue * in 2001, Michigan State, St. Cloud State, Michigan, Wisconsin, Providence and Mercyhurst comprised the field ... Michigan and Michigan State advanced to the Frozen Four, eventually won by Boston College * a crowd of 9,484 on day two helped Van Andel reclaim the West attendance record.

West Regional participants (at Van Andel) who have played in the NHL

Miami, 1997
Dan Boyle
Randy Robitaille
Todd Rohloff

Michigan, 2001
Mike Cammalleri
Andy Hilbert
Jeff Jillson
Mike Komisarek
Josh Langfeld

Michigan, 1997
Bubba Berenzweig
Jason Botterill
Greg Crozier
Matt Herr
Warren Luhning
John Madden
Brendan Morrison
Bill Muckalt
Dale Rominski
Blake Sloan
Marty Tuco

Michigan State, 2001
Adam Hall
Ryan Miller

Michigan State, 1997
Shawn Horcoff
Tony Tuzzolino
Mike Watt
Mike Weaver
Mike York

Minnesota, 1997
Ben Clymer
Casey Hankinson
Ryan Kraft
Erik Rasmussen
Wyatt Smith

North Dakota, 1997
Jason Blake
Brad DeFauw
Matt Henderson
Curtis Murphy
Jeff Ulmer

St. Cloud State, 2001
Tyler Arnason
Mark Hartigan
Duvie Westcott

Wisconsin, 2001
Dany Heatley

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