2021 Announcement



June 15, 2021

MILWAUKEE, Wis. - The Gazelle Group is pleased to announce that the inaugural Holiday Face-Off college hockey tournament will be held at Fiserv Forum, home of the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks.

The field for the event, which will be played from December 28-29, 2021, consists of Wisconsin, Providence, Bowling Green, and Yale. Semifinal play will take place on Tuesday, December 28 with the Championship game and third-place game on Wednesday, December 29. Matchups and game times will be announced at a later date.

General public tickets for the Holiday Face-Off will go on sale at 12:00pm (CT) on June 17 with single-day and tournament packages available. For additional information, follow the Holiday Face-Off on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram (@holidayfaceoff).

"We are excited to begin what we believe will be the top national men's college ice hockey tournament in the country," says Rick Giles, president of the Gazelle Group. "For us to be able to attract four of the most distinguished programs in the nation shows that these programs want to compete against the very best and we plan on continuing to bring together the best teams in college hockey to play at one of the finest venues in the country, Fiserv Forum."

"We are proud to bring major college hockey to Fiserv Forum as we continue to offer a diverse list of events at the arena," said Fiserv Forum and Bucks President Peter Feigin. "Milwaukee has a rich history of college hockey tournaments, and we look forward to continuing the tradition by hosting the Holiday Face-Off at Fiserv Forum."

College hockey in Milwaukee has a rich history. The city has hosted the NCAA men's Frozen Four on three occasions - 1993, 1997, and 2006. In 2006, Wisconsin won its most recent National Championship on the Bradley Center ice.

In addition, from 1989-2003, Wisconsin hosted the Badger Hockey Showdown at the Bradley Center, averaging over 26,000 fans a year during that span.


Wisconsin (Head Coach: Tony Granato, Big Ten Conference)
2021 and 2017 Big Ten Coach of the Year and 2018 U.S. Olympic Team coach Tony Granato leads his alma mater in his sixth season as Wisconsin head coach … six-time national champions, the Badgers are the defending Big Ten regular-season champions entering the 2021-22 season … Cole Caufield, the 2021 Hobey Baker Memorial Award winner as the nation’s top player in 2021 led the nation in goals and points before helping the Montreal Canadiens to the Stanley Cup semifinals that are currently taking place … UW returns seniors Tarek Baker, Tyler Inamoto and Josh Ess for a fifth season and welcomes 10 newcomers including 2021 NHL Draft first-round prospect Corson Ceulemans … the Badgers also return Big Ten All-Rookie Team goaltender Cameron Rowe, a 2021 Mike Richter Award nominee for the nation’s best goaltender

Providence (Head Coach: Nate Leaman, Hockey East)
Nate Leaman finished his 10th season as head coach of the Friars in 2020-21, where he has guided the Friars to nine-consecutive winning seasons, 203 victories, two Frozen Four appearances (2015, 2019) and one national championship (2015). Providence will welcome back two of its three top scorers from last season – Parker Ford (7-12-19) and Patrick Moynihan (6-9-15). In goal, Jaxson Stauber started the final 23 games in 2020-21 – posting a 2.24 GAA and .916 save percentage with four shutouts in being named a Mike Richter Award finalist. Two-time captain Michael Callahan will return for his senior season, leading a defensive group that returns all six starters from a year ago.

Bowling Green (Head Coach: Ty Eigner, WCHA)
Ty Eigner will embark on his third season at the helm of the Falcons in the 2021-22 season, taking over the role prior to the 2019-20 campaign after serving as an assistant on the staff for nine seasons. During the 2020-21 season, Bowling Green reached as high as No. 5 in the polls and has been able to tally at least 20 wins in each of the last seven seasons. The Falcons will compete in the newly reestablished CCHA this season with a slightly new look on the bench with the addition of Assistant Coach Stavros Paskaris, as well as having 11 new players join the program, consisting of eight freshman and three transfer.

Yale (Head Coach: Keith Allain, ECAC Hockey)
The Bulldogs, who did not compete in 2020-21, last played in March of 2020, ending the season with an ECAC Hockey playoff series victory over Union at New Haven. Yale, the 2013 NCAA Champions, recently named senior blueliner Graham Lillibridge as its 2021-22 captain. The team from New Haven has a long history of playing holiday tournaments in the Cheese State. The last time the Bulldogs skated in Wisconsin, they beat Ferris State and then tied the Badgers 2-2 in the 2010 Badger Showdown Championship Game at Madison. Yale’s last appearance at Milwaukee was the 1998 Badger Showdown at the Bradley Center, where the Elis beat Wisconsin 4-2 and then fell to Bowling Green in the Championship contest.


Wisconsin head coach Tony Granato:
"Wisconsin hockey has great history in Milwaukee from the Badger Hockey Showdown and the NCAA championships at the Bradley Center. It's been 15 years since we played in the city, so we are extremely excited to return."

"When we were approached to play in the tournament, it was an easy decision. Fiserv Forum is a beautiful building and Milwaukee is a great hockey town so we feel lucky. We’re really looking forward to a great experience for our student-athletes and fans."

Providence head coach Nate Leaman:
"Our program is eager to participate in the inaugural Holiday Faceoff in Milwaukee after Christmas. Competing against a field consisting of Wisconsin, Bowling Green and Yale will provide a tremendous challenge and one we are looking forward to."

Bowling Green head coach Ty Eigner:
"We are really looking forward to being a part of a first-class event with some of the best teams in college hockey. Milwaukee is a great city and we have heard nothing but good things about Fiserv Forum."

Yale head coach Keith Allain:
"It’s always fun going to Wisconsin for a tournament because it is such a great hockey state, one that takes great pride in its teams. The great field of teams in this tournament adds to our excitement about playing in Milwaukee. Our goal is to win championships and this is the first one on the list."

About the Gazelle Group
The Holiday Face-Off is produced by the Gazelle Group of Princeton, N.J. The Gazelle Group is a sports marketing firm, specializing in event production and management, client representation, and sponsorship consulting. In addition to the Holiday Face-Off, Gazelle produces numerous nationally-recognized college basketball events, such as the Empire Classic benefiting Wounded Warrior Project, the Legends Classic presented by Old Trapper , the Gotham Classic, the Sunshine Slam, and the College Basketball Invitational. For more information on the Gazelle Group, please visit www.gazellegroup.com.

About Fiserv Forum
Fiserv Forum is a preeminent sports and entertainment arena in downtown Milwaukee that opened on Aug. 26, 2018. Designed by Populous, Eppstein Uhen Architects and HNTB, the venue offers incomparable sightlines, customer service, technology and amenities. Fiserv Forum includes 17,385 seats for basketball, 15,178 for hockey and up to 18,000 for concerts, with 34 luxury suites and three clubs. The world-class arena is home to the NBA’s Milwaukee’s Bucks and the Marquette University men’s basketball team and also hosts a diverse variety of year-round events, including major concerts, family shows and other sports and entertainment events. Fiserv Forum is the anchor of the surrounding 30-acre Deer District neighborhood, which is Milwaukee’s premier location for people to live, work and play. Founding Partners for Fiserv Forum include Fiserv, BMO Harris Bank, Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin, Johnson Controls, MolsonCoors and Motorola.

For more information on Fiserv Forum, please visit: fiservforum.com.

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