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Thread: Combined D1/D3 FF Site from a Player's Perspective

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    Combined D1/D3 FF Site from a Player's Perspective

    Read through the last argument where D3 supporters voiced concerns about the long-standing rumor of combining the D1 and D3 Frozen Four sites and I have some thoughts as someone who has recently played in 2 D3 FFs.

    First, Lake Placid is the worst venue by far. No D3 players, besides maybe one or two SUNYAC schools, want to play in Lake Placid. I can't emphasize enough how grateful we were to not play our FF in that venue. From friends who played for St. Norberts and the look of pictures the atmosphere is awful and moving to an olympic ice sheet after playing on NHL size all year sucks for both your conditioning and your systems. Needless to say, we enjoyed our spring break vacation the year it was held there.

    Second, we played in Ridder and the Aud for our FF.

    Ridder was a beautiful rink and our parents and alumni loved the fact it was in a big city, we have players from all around the country and it is difficult/expensive to get to places like Stevens Point in a weeks notice. It was a little demoralizing playing in a women's arena but the atmosphere for the championship was fun and the hotel/banquet were top notch.

    Utica on the other hand was maybe the ugliest city I have ever seen and difficult for families to get too but they hosted a great tournament. The guys loved played in an AHL arena, it made us enjoy a rare moment of professionalism surrounding by videoboards and light productions. I guess attendance wasn't great but in the championship it seemed loud on the ice as both teams brought good amounts of supporters. Maybe that has to do with the size of the arena. Also the hotel was pretty poor, even by d3 standards.

    Finally my point, every D3 player in the country would LOVE a D1/D3 FF Format. To those people concerned about feeling like we would be playing second fiddle, 95% of D3 teams play in front of family and 12 students every game, it would be very difficult for us to feel like we are playing second fiddle to anyone. D3 hockey is humbling to say the least. The opportunity to play in an NHL arena would be worth the trip in itself, to step on the ice of those hockey cathedrals would be awesome. Even if that means that the place feels empty. Most of the time curtaining off the top row would solve a majority of the problems. Maybe for the first time in most guys careers the could say they played in an NHL rink, that is something they can share with their kids someday.

    My suggestion though is this though: Extend D3 regular season a week, then have D3 semi-Finals at On-Campus Sites, then have single Championship game in 2 weeks in between the D1 Semifinals and Championship game. There are a number of positives to that. (1) Allows 2 weeks for parents, alumni and fans to arrange travel. This is expensive and difficult to do in 1 week for many people, more time is better for everyone. (2) Big cities are cheaper to fly into and players enjoy being there much more than middle of nowhere towns. Also for those saying that California or Tampa is a problem, our parents spent every Christmas break in places like Livonia, MI or Chilliwack, BC. A trip to FL to watch their son play in an NHL rink would be a god send. (3) D3 players get the opportunity to get treated like professionals, something we never get. D1 players get to play in these beautiful rinks on big colleges, D3 guys play at the Valley Forum in Medford in a rink that is -10 degrees. (4) Attendance would be better. Offer the D3 game as included in the weekend pass for the D1 FF. I would be hard pressed to imagine hockey fans would rather sit in their hotel than go watch some really good hockey on that Friday night. Thinking back to 2015 when Boston was the host, a Stevens Point v. Trinity game would have been very well attended considering the amount of people who were already in town for D1, then add on top the 20,000 or so Trinity alumni in Boston/New York/Hartford. Would it be a sell out? Absolutely not, but it might top 6,000 which no D3 player would complain about. (5) Probably the most insignificant point but not surprisingly a lot of D3 guys are close friends with D1 guys, we played junior hockey together or grew up together. Hockey is a small world. It would be great to go watch some of our D1 buddies play on such a big stage and I am sure a lot of them would like to watch their D3 friends get a chance to shine.

    At the end of the day D3 hockey is about athletes trying to squeeze out what is ever left of their hockey careers. The opportunity to play the final game of the season, in an NHL arena would be worth all of that. Will NCAA have to take a loss? Sure but it pales in comparison to what they are making as it stands. If I have missed anything feel free to let me know.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nescac19 View Post
    Read through the last argument where D3 supporters voiced concerns about the long-standing rumor of combining the D1 and D3 Frozen Four sites and I have some thoughts as someone who has recently played in 2 D3 FFs.

    First, Lake Placid is the worst venue by far. No D3 players, besides maybe one or two SUNYAC schools, want to play in Lake Placid. I can't emphasize enough how grateful we were to not play our FF in that venue. From friends who played for St. Norberts and the look of pictures the atmosphere is awful and moving to an olympic ice sheet after playing on NHL size all year sucks for both your conditioning and your systems. Needless to say, we enjoyed our spring break vacation the year it was held there.

    Second, we played in Ridder and the Aud for our FF.

    Ridder was a beautiful rink and our parents and alumni loved the fact it was in a big city, we have players from all around the country and it is difficult/expensive to get to places like Stevens Point in a weeks notice. It was a little demoralizing playing in a women's arena but the atmosphere for the championship was fun and the hotel/banquet were top notch.

    Utica on the other hand was maybe the ugliest city I have ever seen and difficult for families to get too but they hosted a great tournament. The guys loved played in an AHL arena, it made us enjoy a rare moment of professionalism surrounding by videoboards and light productions. I guess attendance wasn't great but in the championship it seemed loud on the ice as both teams brought good amounts of supporters. Maybe that has to do with the size of the arena. Also the hotel was pretty poor, even by d3 standards.

    Finally my point, every D3 player in the country would LOVE a D1/D3 FF Format. To those people concerned about feeling like we would be playing second fiddle, 95% of D3 teams play in front of family and 12 students every game, it would be very difficult for us to feel like we are playing second fiddle to anyone. D3 hockey is humbling to say the least. The opportunity to play in an NHL arena would be worth the trip in itself, to step on the ice of those hockey cathedrals would be awesome. Even if that means that the place feels empty. Most of the time curtaining off the top row would solve a majority of the problems. Maybe for the first time in most guys careers the could say they played in an NHL rink, that is something they can share with their kids someday.

    My suggestion though is this though: Extend D3 regular season a week, then have D3 semi-Finals at On-Campus Sites, then have single Championship game in 2 weeks in between the D1 Semifinals and Championship game. There are a number of positives to that. (1) Allows 2 weeks for parents, alumni and fans to arrange travel. This is expensive and difficult to do in 1 week for many people, more time is better for everyone. (2) Big cities are cheaper to fly into and players enjoy being there much more than middle of nowhere towns. Also for those saying that California or Tampa is a problem, our parents spent every Christmas break in places like Livonia, MI or Chilliwack, BC. A trip to FL to watch their son play in an NHL rink would be a god send. (3) D3 players get the opportunity to get treated like professionals, something we never get. D1 players get to play in these beautiful rinks on big colleges, D3 guys play at the Valley Forum in Medford in a rink that is -10 degrees. (4) Attendance would be better. Offer the D3 game as included in the weekend pass for the D1 FF. I would be hard pressed to imagine hockey fans would rather sit in their hotel than go watch some really good hockey on that Friday night. Thinking back to 2015 when Boston was the host, a Stevens Point v. Trinity game would have been very well attended considering the amount of people who were already in town for D1, then add on top the 20,000 or so Trinity alumni in Boston/New York/Hartford. Would it be a sell out? Absolutely not, but it might top 6,000 which no D3 player would complain about. (5) Probably the most insignificant point but not surprisingly a lot of D3 guys are close friends with D1 guys, we played junior hockey together or grew up together. Hockey is a small world. It would be great to go watch some of our D1 buddies play on such a big stage and I am sure a lot of them would like to watch their D3 friends get a chance to shine.

    At the end of the day D3 hockey is about athletes trying to squeeze out what is ever left of their hockey careers. The opportunity to play the final game of the season, in an NHL arena would be worth all of that. Will NCAA have to take a loss? Sure but it pales in comparison to what they are making as it stands. If I have missed anything feel free to let me know.
    Welcome to the board! Great post and interesting perspective from a player for sure.

    I will provide some context that there was a proposal put forth to try and combine the D3 championship with the D1 back in 2012 or 2013 I believe and ultimately it was killed by the D3 championships committee.

    The extension of the season by another 3 weeks puts strain on already limited D3 support staffs like AT, Equipment and SID. If it combined with d1, a handful of teams would now have winter season going through almost the entire spring season. The crossover seasons are already brutal enough.

    Coming from the NESCAC itís interesting you have the perspective to try and extend the season since the NESCACís values try to preach to allow student-athletes to try and compete in 2 or 3 different seasons by aligning their competition seasons differently than most other conferences.

    I personally would like to see the D3 men and women try and combined Championship once. The seasons already align or are off by one week lately. Having a combined championship in Minneapolis, Boston, Utica, Buffalo etc would be interesting to try once or twice in my opinion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PrezdeJohnson09 View Post
    Welcome to the board! Great post and interesting perspective from a player for sure.

    I will provide some context that there was a proposal put forth to try and combine the D3 championship with the D1 back in 2012 or 2013 I believe and ultimately it was killed by the D3 championships committee.

    The extension of the season by another 3 weeks puts strain on already limited D3 support staffs like AT, Equipment and SID. If it combined with d1, a handful of teams would now have winter season going through almost the entire spring season. The crossover seasons are already brutal enough.

    Coming from the NESCAC itís interesting you have the perspective to try and extend the season since the NESCACís values try to preach to allow student-athletes to try and compete in 2 or 3 different seasons by aligning their competition seasons differently than most other conferences.

    I personally would like to see the D3 men and women try and combined Championship once. The seasons already align or are off by one week lately. Having a combined championship in Minneapolis, Boston, Utica, Buffalo etc would be interesting to try once or twice in my opinion.
    It would be a madhouse if they played the D-3 final at the Bruins practice facility which holds 1500 people...maybe something like Tsongas or something in Boston would be interested

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    Re: Combined D1/D3 FF Site from a Player's Perspective

    Quote Originally Posted by The Zlax45 View Post
    It would be a madhouse if they played the D-3 final at the Bruins practice facility which holds 1500 people...maybe something like Tsongas or something in Boston would be interested
    We get to play at the Warrior Complex next month....Ive heard its a cluster to say the least around there....

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    Re: Combined D1/D3 FF Site from a Player's Perspective

    Quote Originally Posted by PrezdeJohnson09 View Post
    Welcome to the board! Great post and interesting perspective from a player for sure.

    I will provide some context that there was a proposal put forth to try and combine the D3 championship with the D1 back in 2012 or 2013 I believe and ultimately it was killed by the D3 championships committee.

    The extension of the season by another 3 weeks puts strain on already limited D3 support staffs like AT, Equipment and SID. If it combined with d1, a handful of teams would now have winter season going through almost the entire spring season. The crossover seasons are already brutal enough.

    Coming from the NESCAC itís interesting you have the perspective to try and extend the season since the NESCACís values try to preach to allow student-athletes to try and compete in 2 or 3 different seasons by aligning their competition seasons differently than most other conferences.

    I personally would like to see the D3 men and women try and combined Championship once. The seasons already align or are off by one week lately. Having a combined championship in Minneapolis, Boston, Utica, Buffalo etc would be interesting to try once or twice in my opinion.
    Do you have to extend the season by that much or can you simply readjust the schedule? Right now many D3 hockey teams come back to campus with an abbreviated Christmas Break while the rest of campus is shut down longer. Give the hockey teams more time off then and start the 2nd part of the schedule later and align with D1. The issue might be the academics. D3 should be academics first and the longer the hockey season goes the closer to finals which for some student athletes, is stressful. Not sure that factors in to the decision at all.

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    Re: Combined D1/D3 FF Site from a Player's Perspective

    Quote Originally Posted by MELIN27 View Post
    Do you have to extend the season by that much or can you simply readjust the schedule? Right now many D3 hockey teams come back to campus with an abbreviated Christmas Break while the rest of campus is shut down longer. Give the hockey teams more time off then and start the 2nd part of the schedule later and align with D1. The issue might be the academics. D3 should be academics first and the longer the hockey season goes the closer to finals which for some student athletes, is stressful. Not sure that factors in to the decision at all.
    This probably won't work because you have some 2 sport athletes that play baseball or lacrosse, too.
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    Quote Originally Posted by neumyer View Post
    This probably won't work because you have some 2 sport athletes that play baseball or lacrosse, too.
    Youíre talking about FOUR teams out of 84 teams. It wouldnít be extending the season for the 80 other D3 hockey teams.

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    Quote Originally Posted by neumyer View Post
    This probably won't work because you have some 2 sport athletes that play baseball or lacrosse, too.
    And you most likely will have flights for the semis, with extra flights for the final (unless everyone would be okay with the east and west regions separately playing down to one representative). The NCAA wouldn't cough up any extra money for that.

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    Re: Combined D1/D3 FF Site from a Player's Perspective

    Quote Originally Posted by d3hockey57 View Post
    Youíre talking about FOUR teams out of 84 teams. It wouldnít be extending the season for the 80 other D3 hockey teams.
    You're right. But with how competitive D3 hockey has become I think 20-25 teams have to legitimately consider that their season could be extended further if everything falls the right way. Now you're talking about 1/4th of the teams playing D3 hockey that it could affect annually.
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    Re: Combined D1/D3 FF Site from a Player's Perspective

    This players perspective,Waaaaay back in the day in 87',1987 that is,walking into the Ronnie B some 2 hrs before gametime the place was packed with I think 4000+,that was a College Championship atmosphere,not sure if it was at the Ronnie B due to Plattys best record or it was pre-set,anyway we should try and do it that way...

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    Re: Combined D1/D3 FF Site from a Player's Perspective

    Quote Originally Posted by neumyer View Post
    This probably won't work because you have some 2 sport athletes that play baseball or lacrosse, too.
    I could be off base, but I think missing a couple of early season practices/games to compete for a NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP would be acceptable. Also, outside of the Nescac, I don't know how many hockey players are playing a spring sport.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KrbFlint View Post
    I could be off base, but I think missing a couple of early season practices/games to compete for a NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP would be acceptable. Also, outside of the Nescac, I don't know how many hockey players are playing a spring sport.
    Interestingly, there is a discussion on the D1 threads to start the D1 season earlier so it can finish earlier and avoid the bye week during the Final Fours. Doing so would avoid the D3 issues currently under discussion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KrbFlint View Post
    I could be off base, but I think missing a couple of early season practices/games to compete for a NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP would be acceptable. Also, outside of the Nescac, I don't know how many hockey players are playing a spring sport.
    Plattsburgh has two baseball players and used to have a lacrosse player not too long ago. The womenís hockey team at Plattsburgh has a lacrosse player, and I believe the 2017-18 Elmira womenís hockey team had 4 (I think?)

    Itís probably not as uncommon as youíd think.

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    Re: Combined D1/D3 FF Site from a Player's Perspective

    Quote Originally Posted by CARDS_rule_the_Burgh View Post
    Plattsburgh has two baseball players and used to have a lacrosse player not too long ago. The womenís hockey team at Plattsburgh has a lacrosse player, and I believe the 2017-18 Elmira womenís hockey team had 4 (I think?)

    Itís probably not as uncommon as youíd think.
    139 D3 hockey teams (men's and women's) x 30 per roster (for sake of discussion) = 4170 D3 ice hockey players. Even if there are 500 two sport athletes, I think that's still pretty rare.

    At the end of the day, it doesn't affect my point that I would like to think missing early season practices (maybe some games) is acceptable to play for a national title.

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    Re: Combined D1/D3 FF Site from a Player's Perspective

    Quote Originally Posted by KrbFlint View Post
    At the end of the day, it doesn't affect my point that I would like to think missing early season practices (maybe some games) is acceptable to play for a national title.
    I tend to agree, and since they are playing a winter sport their conditioning should be good. Doesn't seem like it would be a huge issue.
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    Re: Combined D1/D3 FF Site from a Player's Perspective

    Quote Originally Posted by KrbFlint View Post
    139 D3 hockey teams (men's and women's) x 30 per roster (for sake of discussion) = 4170 D3 ice hockey players. Even if there are 500 two sport athletes, I think that's still pretty rare.

    At the end of the day, it doesn't affect my point that I would like to think missing early season practices (maybe some games) is acceptable to play for a national title.
    My guess would be that hockey is their first priority behind any other sport. If they're playing DIII hockey, they're playing at a fairly high level and investment, whereas if they're playing another sport such as baseball or lacrosse, they're doing it more for pleasure than for competition, if that makes sense. I'm not trying to take away from DIII baseball, but as a whole, it's pretty low skilled compared to its DI and DII counterparts.

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    Re: Combined D1/D3 FF Site from a Player's Perspective

    There would be the issue of those schools who don't have a rink. They'd likely have to guarantee ice usage for the additional week(s), assuming the ice isn't just taken out. Even for schools with their own rinks, there is the cost of keeping the ice down for a longer period, as well as the associated costs of maintaining the facility. With some schools stretched near the limit now, it doesn't make sense. Having the DIII men's and women's finals the same weekend makes sense, stretching out the season to match DI programs does not.

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    Re: Combined D1/D3 FF Site from a Player's Perspective

    Season is long enuff,these kids train during the summer and I believe when they show up for school they start dryland training,captains practice,miss many holidays at home etc etc,all without 18 scholarships if you know what I mean...Season is long enufffffffff….

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    Re: Combined D1/D3 FF Site from a Player's Perspective

    Quote Originally Posted by d3hockey57 View Post
    My guess would be that hockey is their first priority behind any other sport. If they're playing DIII hockey, they're playing at a fairly high level and investment, whereas if they're playing another sport such as baseball or lacrosse, they're doing it more for pleasure than for competition, if that makes sense. I'm not trying to take away from DIII baseball, but as a whole, it's pretty low skilled compared to its DI and DII counterparts.
    The other advantage hockey has over every other sport is there are only 6 or 7 I believe Division II programs on the men's side. Division III men's and women's hockey is the closest competition wise than any other sport the NCAA offers due to a lack of a basically an entire division not sponsoring the sport. Hockey already has low numbers to begin with so think of it this way.

    Norwich, St. Norbert, UW Stevens Point, Oswego, Adrian etc are the 61st best college hockey programs in the entire country (for arguments sake..we're not going down the Division I/III rabbit hole of how good the top teams in D-III are to the bottom level D-1).

    In basketball, according to the last RPI rankings these are the 61st-67th best teams in the country.

    61 Creighton (19-15) 0.561 12 298 61
    62 Ohio State (20-15) 0.561 7 292 62
    63 St Johns (21-13) 0.560 4 324 63
    64 Vermont (26-7) 0.557 7 182 64
    65 Old Dominion (26-9) 0.557 45 265 65
    66 Clemson (20-14) 0.557 12 212 66
    67 Alabama (18-16) 0.557 27 218 67

    and in football

    60 BYU, FBS Indep. 7-6 7.0 - 6.0 -- -- -- 2.7
    RK TEAM W-L PROJ W-L WIN OUT% CONF WIN% REM SOS RK FPI
    61 Baylor, Big 12 7-6 7.0 - 6.0 -- 0.0 -- 2.5
    62 Kansas State, Big 12 5-7 5.0 - 7.0 -- 0.0 -- 2.0
    63 Indiana, Big Ten 5-7 5.0 - 7.0 -- 0.0 -- 1.9
    64 Arizona, Pac-12 5-7 5.0 - 7.0 -- 0.0 -- 1.9
    65 Tennessee, SEC 5-7 5.0 - 7.0 -- 0.0 -- 1.2
    66 Temple, American 8-5 8.0 - 5.0 -- 0.0 -- 1.1
    67 FSU, ACC 5-7 5.0 - 7.0 -- 0.0 -- 0.9

    Pretty impressive company to keep as the 61st-67th best college hockey teams across all levels.
    Last edited by PrezdeJohnson09; 04-22-2019 at 01:56 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PrezdeJohnson09 View Post
    The other advantage hockey has over every other sport is there are only 6 or 7 I believe Division II programs on the men's side. Division III men's and women's hockey is the closest competition wise than any other sport the NCAA offers due to a lack of a basically an entire division not sponsoring the sport. Hockey already has low numbers to begin with so think of it this way.

    Norwich, St. Norbert, UW Stevens Point, Oswego, Adrian etc are the 61st best college hockey programs in the entire country (for arguments sake..we're not going down the Division I/III rabbit hole of how good the top teams in D-III are to the bottom level D-1).

    In basketball, according to the last RPI rankings these are the 61st-67th best teams in the country.

    61 Creighton (19-15) 0.561 12 298 61
    62 Ohio State (20-15) 0.561 7 292 62
    63 St Johns (21-13) 0.560 4 324 63
    64 Vermont (26-7) 0.557 7 182 64
    65 Old Dominion (26-9) 0.557 45 265 65
    66 Clemson (20-14) 0.557 12 212 66
    67 Alabama (18-16) 0.557 27 218 67

    60 BYU, FBS Indep. 7-6 7.0 - 6.0 -- -- -- 2.7
    RK TEAM W-L PROJ W-L WIN OUT% CONF WIN% REM SOS RK FPI
    61 Baylor, Big 12 7-6 7.0 - 6.0 -- 0.0 -- 2.5
    62 Kansas State, Big 12 5-7 5.0 - 7.0 -- 0.0 -- 2.0
    63 Indiana, Big Ten 5-7 5.0 - 7.0 -- 0.0 -- 1.9
    64 Arizona, Pac-12 5-7 5.0 - 7.0 -- 0.0 -- 1.9
    65 Tennessee, SEC 5-7 5.0 - 7.0 -- 0.0 -- 1.2
    66 Temple, American 8-5 8.0 - 5.0 -- 0.0 -- 1.1
    67 FSU, ACC 5-7 5.0 - 7.0 -- 0.0 -- 0.9

    Pretty impressive company to keep as the 61st-67th best college hockey teams across all levels.
    Prezde

    There's a lot more than that.

    The entire WCHA (save Bowling Green) are D-II playups. That's 9.
    In the NCHC, SCSU, UNO, UMD are D-II, CC is D-III
    AHA has AIC and Mercyhurst. RIT is D-III
    HEA has Merrimack, though I think they're transitioning to D1

    Plus the NE10 (6) and Post.

    That's 22 or so NCAA classified D-II schools that are playing hockey. I think they need 40 to conduct a separate D2 championship should the Power 5 get nasty and make D1 just for D1.

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