Penn State Hockey To Host 2018 And 2019 Tournament Regionals In Allentown At PPL Center
Penn State hockey will host the Midwest Regional for the 2018 and 2019 NCAA Tournament the program announced on Tuesday afternoon. All three games of the regional will be played in Allentown at the recently opened PPL Center. The city bid for the hosting rights earlier this year.
Also announced on Tuesday, Pegula Ice Arena will host the 2022 women's Frozen Four.
The news means that Allentown will become the first Pennsylvania city to have regional competitions although both Pittsburgh and Philadelphia recently hosted the Frozen Four in 2013 and 2014 respectively.
The 2018 regionals are slated for March 23-25 and then March 29-31 in 2019.
Functionally nothing changes for Penn State as the host team, but the Nittany Lions would play in Allentown if they were to make the postseason. The benefits of that are obvious, playing just an hour north of Philadelphia and within two hours of New York City, two massive Penn State alumni areas.
The bad news, Wisconsin was the last midwest regional host to make the tournament back in 2008.
In addition, the NCAA announced on Tuesday that the 2021 Frozen Four will be played in Pittsburgh. As a result Penn State now enters a unique window of opportunity, the Nittany Lions coming up just shy of their first Frozen Four appearance this season, and now looking at the potential for home ice advantage in consecutive postseasons with a friendly Frozen Four and NCAA Title venue within a reasonable five year window.
Among other NCAA events announced Tuesday, Penn State also will host
- 2018 and 2021 National Collegiate Fencing Championships;
- 2018 and 2020 National Collegiate Women’s Gymnastics Regional;
- 2018 and 2020 NCAA Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Regional.