College HockeyCollege Hockey is an NCAA-sanctioned, competitive, collegiate ice hockey league played throughout the United States and Canada. Primarily composed of NCAA Division I teams, College Hockey includes schools from the Big Ten, ECAC, Hockey East, National Collegiate Hockey Conference and WCHA conferences. The league is divided into two divisions, the Western Hockey Association (WHA) and the Eastern Provincial Hockey Association (EPHA), and features both men's and women's ice hockey. The college hockey season begins with a number of non-conference match-ups between teams from different conferences. The regular season then consists of conference match-ups lasting through March, followed by the playoffs. The championship of each division is decided through a 4- team single-elimination playoff, with the winning teams advancing to the National Collegiate Hockey Championship (NCHC). Notable teams in college hockey include the Minnesota Golden Gophers, Michigan Wolverines, Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs, Boston College Eagles, and Wisconsin Badgers. Popular players include Johnny Gaudreau (Boston College), Madison Packer (Wisconsin), Ja Ja Myers (North Dakota), and Vic Mongeau (Maine). College hockey has a rich history, with the first NCAA National Collegiate Championship taking place in 1948. Since then, it has become a popular sport on college campuses, with the championship game often broadcast on national television networks. Originally consisting only of teams from the United States, college hockey has now expanded to include teams from Canada as well. The NCAA also awards the Hobey Baker Award to the best collegiate hockey player each season. Riley Tufte (Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs) was the 2017 recipient, and a long list of NHL greats have won the award including Paul Kariya, Neal Broten, and Ryan Miller. College hockey has grown from a small, regional event to a national phenomenon. The excitement of the games and the skill of the players in this competitive collegiate sport guarantees that college hockey will remain a popular sport for many years to come.
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