Providence beat Boston University to win the national championship the last time Boston hosted the Frozen Four in 2015. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

Boston to host 2022 Frozen Four; Worcester, Manchester, Providence remain in regional host rotation

Scott McLaughlin
April 18, 2017 - 1:38 pm

It felt like an eternity when Boston went 11 years without a Frozen Four before TD Garden hosted college hockey’s 2015 championship. The city and the Garden won’t have to wait as long this time, as the NCAA announced on Tuesday that Boston will host the 2022 Frozen Four.

The NCAA also announced the hosts for the 2019, 2020 and 2021 Frozen Fours, which will go to Buffalo, Detroit and Pittsburgh, respectively. Next year’s Frozen Four is already set for St. Paul.

In addition, the regional sites — which host the first and second rounds of the NCAA tournament — for the next two years were also announced. There were no surprises in the East, as Worcester’s DCU Center and Bridgeport’s Webster Bank Arena will host regionals in 2018, followed by Manchester’s SNHU Arena and Providence’s Dunkin’ Donuts Center in 2019.

That continues what has been a safe, established rotation for the two Eastern regionals. All four arenas are neutral sites with AHL-sized buildings that are an easy drive for most of New England’s college hockey teams, and Bridgeport is also pretty close for several New York schools. There had been talk of Portland, Maine hosting a regional at the recently-renovated Cross Insurance Arena, but it won’t happen in this cycle.

The Western regionals are a bit more interesting, as Sioux Falls, South Dakota and Allentown, Pennsylvania will each be first-time hosts in 2018. Allentown will also host a regional in 2019, while Fargo, North Dakota gets the other Western regional in 2019.

Both Allentown regionals are hosted by Penn State and the Sioux Falls and Fargo regionals are both hosted by North Dakota — an indication of a declining interest from other schools and cities to host as the NCAA struggles to find neutral, mid-sized rinks in the Midwest that can draw well and make money.