BOSTON - The University of New Hampshire will make history Jan. 7, 2012, when the Wildcats face off against longtime nemesis University of Maine at Fenway Park as part of a Hockey East doubleheader that was announced Friday afternoon at the venerable ballpark, which is home to the Boston Red Sox of MLB. The event has been dubbed Frozen Fenway 2012 and Hockey Day in New England.
"I'm absolutely thrilled for UNH men's hockey to be part of the Frozen Fenway doubleheader," said UNH 22nd-year head coach Dick Umile, a native of Melrose, Mass. "I believe the UNH/Maine rivalry is as good as any in college hockey and bringing this game to a venue like Fenway Park is huge. Being from Boston, it doesn't get any better than playing at Fenway Park. We are honored to be a part of this experience and we are looking forward to the opportunity, as I'm sure Vermont, Massachusetts and Maine are."
The 111th meeting in the series between UNH and Maine - the 'Cats swept last year's season series - is the second game of a doubleheader at 7:30 p.m. and will be preceded by a matchup between the University of Vermont and the University of Massachusetts at 4 p.m. The doubleheader will be broadcast live in high-definition on NESN.
New Hampshire has a storied history in men's hockey with the nation's second-longest active streak of NCAA appearances at 10. The 'Cats have been to the NCAA's 17 in the last 21 seasons under Umile's guidance and have been to the Frozen Four seven times.
In 2010-11, UNH became the only team in college hockey to advance to the NCAA regional finals each of the last three seasons. With wins over second-seeded North Dakota and Cornell in 2008-09 and 2009-10, respectively, and a mammoth upset win over top-seeded Miami last season the Wildcats have developed a reputation for being a tough first-round draw. New Hampshire, which was tabbed 10th nationally in the USCHO Preseason Poll, stormed out of the gate posting a 10-2-4 mark during the first half of the season and moved up to No. 2 nationally.
UNH SEASON TICKET HOLDERS: UNH Hockey season ticket holders will have the first opportunity to purchase tickets in the designated UNH fan sections at Fenway Park by logging into their online Account Manager. There is no limit to the number of tickets that UNH season ticket holders may purchase through their account. As long as tickets are available, season ticket holders will have access. CLICK HERE TO BECOME A UNH SEASON TICKET HOLDER
GENERAL PUBLIC TICKET INFORMATION: Tickets will go on sale to the general public on Sept. 13. Ticket prices range from $5 to $75 and each ticket is valid for both games. There will be an option to sit with other Wildcats fans in the stadium by selecting the UNH sales path. Patrons who require accessible seating may contact the Red Sox Ticket Office at 1-877-REDSOX9. Hearing impaired patrons may call the TTY number at (617) 226-6644.
"Few experiences in my four decades in college hockey were as special as the first 'Frozen Fenway' in 2010," said Hockey East Commissioner Joe Bertagna. "It was a once in a lifetime experience for our four schools the first time around and I expect the same in 2012. Given that we will help launch Fenway Park's 100th anniversary season, we are doubly grateful for this opportunity."
New England Sports Network (NESN) is scheduled to broadcast three hockey games on January 7. The tripleheader begins at 1 p.m. when the Bruins take on the Canucks for the first time since the Stanley Cup finals. The network will then move to Fenway Park where it will showcase the two great Hockey East matchups at 4:00 and 7:30 p.m.
"This is going to be an exciting day for New England hockey fans," said NESN President Sean McGrail. "We are pleased to be broadcasting all three back-to-back games to New England fans on NESN in what will be 'Hockey Day in New England'."
"We look forward to kicking off Fenway Park's 100th anniversary celebrations with Frozen Fenway 2012, which is a great way for thousands of families to come and enjoy favorite winter pastimes as we begin celebrating its milestone year," said Red Sox Executive Vice President/COO Sam Kennedy. "We want to thank Mayor Menino for his continued support, and welcome back Joe Bertagna and Hockey East to America's Most Beloved Ballpark. The 2012 hockey games at Fenway Park will mark the third time outdoor hockey has been played at the ballpark and the second time that college hockey games have been played since 2010. We are lucky to be in a town that's great for both baseball and hockey and we're excited to once again continue this outdoor tradition in 2012."
The Royal Sonesta Hotel is Hockey East's "Official Hotel for Frozen Fenway 2012" for parents and fans. The hotel is offering a discounted $129 rate for fans/parents for standard rooms and $149 for Deluxe Riverview rooms.
In addition to fans/parents making their reservations by visiting www.hockeyeastonline.com, or by calling the hotel directly at 617-806-4200 or calling 800-SONESTA (1-800-766-3782).
Guests should reference the "HOCKEY EAST FF 2012 FANS/PARENTS" room block, to receive the discounted rate. This is the group name that Reservations Department would reference the block.
Quotes about the Frozen Fenway 2012
"Boston is the best sports town in America and the capital of the hockey world. On January 7, 2012 it only gets better. This is going to be a great Hockey Day in New England. We saw how successful the Winter Classic was and I'm confident that top-notch college hockey at Fenway Park will make for another unforgettable experience, drawing fans from across the region and serving as a major platform to showcase the people, culture, and local businesses that make our city special. As part of this event, I am proud to announce that there will be two full days of public skating during Frozen Fenway 2012. This will give families and children the chance to experience the ice, just like their favorite college players. I want to thank the Red Sox, the Hockey East Association, and the participating schools for working with the City to create this great event," said Mayor Thomas M. Menino.
"It will be a huge thrill for everyone involved with the game and will definitely enhance the rivalry Maine and UNH already have," said former Wildcat and current Philadelphia Flyer James van Riemsdyk.