In a state that’s best known for its sun and oranges, one city in Florida will be engraved in Boston College, Union College, Ferris State University and the University of Minnesota men’s hockey teams memory for a life time.
Tampa Bay Florida was host to the 2012 Frozen Four Championship at the Tampa Bay Times Forum home to the 2004 NHL Stanley Cup Champs, the Tampa bay Lightning.
This marked the first Frozen Four held past the Mason Dixon line. You didn’t have to tell all Florida natives about college hockey as many of them decked out in college hockey apparel.
In a state not known for hockey, hosting the Frozen Four was an introduction to college hockey. Many fans were familiar with the Tampa Bay Lightning, but not this level of hockey. This tournament would introduce fans to the fantastic world of college hockey.
Usually the night before the Frozen Four begins the college’s meet in a snazzy hotel ballroom and toast to the beginning of the tournament. This time the colleges toasted the start of the tournament on a yacht overlooking a breathtaking sunset on the Gulf of Mexico.
The Hobey Baker award, which is usually presented inside the arena, was presented at nearby Macdill Air Force Base in honor of Hobey Baker who was a World War One pilot after his standout career at Princeton University. Tampa Bay showed the college hockey players hospitality with a twist, which was better than the southern sweet tea that they serve in the sunshine state.
There was one lone Florida native playing in the tournament for Union College, Shayne Gostisbehere. What a homecoming for the Union Defenseman. Boston College would go on to defeat Ferris State to win the right to be called Frozen Four Champions.