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T-Mobile Arena to host college hockey tournament in January

T-Mobile Arena will host its first NCAA Division I men’s ice hockey event when the Ice Vegas Invitational tournament is held Jan. 5 and Jan. 6.

Perennial power Boston College, which has five NCAA titles and a record 25 Frozen Four appearances, heads the field. Michigan Tech, Arizona State and Northern Michigan are the other competing teams.

Ticket information will be announced in the coming weeks. The tournament is promoted by bd Global, which puts on two annual college basketball events in Las Vegas.

Last Oct. 9, UNLV and Arizona State’s club teams played in the first college game at T-Mobile.

The Ice Vegas Invitational will be the arena’s first varsity college hockey event. The hope is to show the NCAA that Las Vegas supports college hockey and if the NCAA ever repeals its ban on Las Vegas hosting championship events, the city would be given consideration to host a Frozen Four.

Last month, Las Vegas Events was turned down in its attempt to host the Frozen Four because the ban remained in effect. But there’s no restriction on regular season games and it’s an opportunity for the college teams to play in an NHL rink. On Dec. 15, 1995 Western Michigan defeated Bowling Green, 6-4, at the Thomas & Mack Center in the only other varsity hockey game to be played in Las Vegas. On Oct. 27, 2018, North Dakota and Minnesota will play each other at the Orleans Arena.

“We are always thrilled to showcase our program in new and exciting parts of the country against some of the top teams in the nation,” said Boston College coach Jerry York, who has Golden Knights general manager George McPhee’s son Graham on his roster.

ASU coach Greg Powers, whose team just completed its first year playing Division I, said: “We are very much looking forward to exposing the growing Vegas hockey market to NCAA Division I hockey. Being the only Division I program in the Southwest, it’s important to us to gain as much exposure in this region as possible.”

The Sun Devils have two Las Vegas players on their varsity roster — sophomore defenseman Joey Raats and freshman forward Dominic Garcia.

Contact Steve Carp at scarp@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2913. Follow @stevecarprj on Twitter.

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