The Lamoriello Trophy will be raised again on Saturday, March 22
Hockey East directors approved an expansion of its playoff format during their recent league meetings in Naples, Florida. With the University of Connecticut joining the conference for the start of the 2014-15 season, the directors voted to include all 12 institutions in the post-season tournament. On a second vote, the directors voted to utilize a "Best-of-Three" format in both the opening round of play as well as the quarterfinal round. Those rounds, played at campus sites, precede the Hockey East championship weekend that will again be hosted by the TD Garden in Boston next year.
"The directors heard from the coaches that the best time of the year for the athletes is playoff time and the coaches made a strong argument for increasing those playing opportunities for the students," said Hockey East Commissioner Joe Bertagna. "The inclusion of a fifth-place team in the opening round may also have been a factor."
This past season, as Hockey East welcomed the University of Notre Dame as its 11th member institution, the conference directed an 11-school tournament, with teams #6 through #11 paired off in a single game opening round format. The three winners joined the teams seeded #1 through #5 to make up an 8-team quarterfinal field. In 2015, the Hockey East post-season will look like this:
|2015 Hockey East Men's Tournament|
|Friday - Sunday, March 6-8:||Best-of-Three
Opening Round Play on Campus
(#5 hosts #12, #6 hosts #11, #7 hosts #10, #8 hosts #9)
|Friday - Sunday, March 13-15:||Best-of-Three
Quarterfinal Round Play on Campus
(Schools #1 - #4 host four opening round winners,
highest vs. lowest, etc.)
|Friday, March 20 at TD Garden:||Semifinal Games|
|Saturday, March 21 at TD Garden:||Championship Final|
Hockey East enjoyed a banner year in 2013-14, compiling a winning record against each of the other five NCAA Division I men's ice hockey conferences and placing five schools in the NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Championship. More than 72,000 fans turned out to watch the 17 games played in the 2014 Hockey East Tournament, with the two nights at the TD Garden being the two best attended post-season games in the country this past season.
Earlier in the year, the conference hosted two outdoor doubleheaders at Fenway Park in January, drawing an additional 57,000+ fans for "Frozen Fenway." And during the past year, the conference successfully partnered with the TD Garden to win a bid to bring the 2015 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Championship "Frozen Four" to Boston in 2015.
LOU LAMORIELLO AND THE LAMORIELLO TROPHY
On March 7, 1988, the Hockey East Executive Committee voted to name the conference championship trophy the Lamoriello Trophy. The title honors Lou Lamoriello, the first commissioner of Hockey East and a leader in the formation of the conference. The league commissioned the creation of a permanent trophy in 1998, and it was delivered in time for the 1999 championship.
Lamoriello served as the Providence College head coach for 15 seasons (1968-83), guiding the Friars to an overall record of 248-179-13, a winning percentage of .580. He led the Friars to a 33-10-0 mark in the 1982-83 campaign, the best in the nation that year. Providence also reached the Frozen Four that season for the first time since 1964. Lamoriello resigned as coach following that season to devote more time to his role as the Providence athletic director, a post to which he was appointed in July of 1982.
With the athletics directors from Boston College, Boston University, New Hampshire and Northeastern, Lamoriello formed the Hockey East Association in July of 1983. He was the driving force in the history-making interlocking schedule agreement with the Western Collegiate Hockey Association and in the first-ever college hockey television package.
A native of Johnston, R.I., Lamoriello attended LaSalle Academy and graduated from Providence College in 1963. As an undergraduate, Lamoriello lettered in baseball and hockey, serving as captain for each team during his senior year. He was inducted into the Providence College Athletic Hall of Fame in 1980.
Lamoriello resigned as commissioner of Hockey East and as Providence College Athletic Director on April 30, 1987, to take the position of President and General Manager of the National Hockey League's New Jersey Devils.
Lamoriello continued to succeed in the NHL as the Devils have won the Stanley Cup three times during his tenure, most recently in 2003. Five former Hockey East players - Kevin Dean (UNH), Brian Gionta (BC), Bill Guerin (BC), Jay Pandolfo (BU) and Chris Terreri (PC), have won at least one Cup each under Lamoriello's watch.
Lamoriello has won on
the international level as
well. He organized the
Team USA entry in both
the 1996 World Cup of
Hockey and the 1998 Winter
Olympics as the General
Manager of each
team. The former, paced by Hockey East
alumni Brian Leetch (BC), Keith Tkachuk
(BU) and Tony Amonte (BU) beat Canada
in the finals, two games to one, to win the
inaugural World Cup.
|The Hockey East Championships were first held at the Providence Civic Center
following the inaugural season of 1984-85. After several successful showings at the
original Boston Garden, the tournament moved with its sister events to the building now known as TD Garden.
The building has become a recognized leader in hosting college hockey events, having set attendance records for the NCAA Frozen Four in 1998, and boasting progressively larger crowds for the Beanpot and the Hockey East Championships. The 2004 Frozen Four was a huge success, with tickets for the BC-Maine semifinal among the hottest in town.
Since its grand opening in 1995, over 20 million people have come to the TD Garden to see the arena's famous tenants, the NHL's Boston Bruins and NBA's Boston Celtics, as well as world-renowned concerts and sporting events, family shows, wrestling, ice shows and much more.
Measuring 755,000 square feet and sitting above a five story, 1,150 space parking garage, the state-of-the-art facility includes a multimillion dollar scoreboard and high-tech LED display, and a seating capacity of 17,565 for hockey games. The complex is easily accessible by the MBTA's Green Line, Orange Line, and Commuter Rail via North Station.