KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Due to multiple unforeseen travel complexities caused by winter storm Ulmer, a weather system that has walloped Colorado and other states, the opening night of the best-of-three National Collegiate Hockey Conference Quarterfinal series between Western Michigan University and Colorado College has been postponed and is expected to begin Saturday, March 16, at WMU’s Lawson Ice Arena.
The best-of-three series between sixth-seeded Colorado College and third-seeded WMU was scheduled to start today, Friday, March 15. The series is now expected to be played March 16 and 17, with the if-necessary decisive third game Monday, March 18. Puck drops for all games are at 7:05 p.m.
With impending bad weather in the forecast, the NCHC and Colorado College worked extensively to coordinate alternative travel plans to get the Tigers to Kalamazoo. For multiple reasons, various travel plans for the college have not played out according to schedule. All three parties—CC, NCHC and WMU—continue to be in communication.
"Unfortunately, weather has been an issue for NCHC team travel throughout the season and continued this week with the severe weather that hit Colorado on Wednesday," says NCHC Commissioner Josh Fenton.
"In the interest of keeping competitive fairness between the teams, as well as looking out for the student-athletes’ well-being, the decision was made to delay the series."
This marks the first time in the conference’s history that a NCHC Tournament game or series has had to be postponed. The NCHC postponed a regular-season game earlier this year for the first time in its history when it rescheduled the Jan. 18 game between the University of Denver and Colorado College, also due to a bad snow storm and travel issues with Denver getting to Colorado Springs. The teams ultimately played Feb. 26.
All three other best-of-three NCHC Quarterfinal series this weekend will move ahead as planned, starting Friday, March 15, and running through Sunday, March 17, if needed. The four quarterfinal series winners advance to the 2019 NCHC Frozen Faceoff at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota, March 22-23, when the NCHC Tournament champion will be crowned.
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