At Fenway Park, amidst the Frozen Fenway festivities, leadership from the ECAC and Hockey East gathered to announce the next two fields for the Friendship Four, a tournament held in Belfast, Northern Ireland during Thanksgiving week. UConn will be in the 2018 field along with Boston University, Yale, and Union.
"Having been part of the first two Friendship Four events, I am thrilled with this news and what it means to the athletes and coaches who will be the primary beneficiaries," Hockey East commissioner Joe Bertagna said. "Our hosts have done a tremendous job launching this event and the schools who have played to date have delivered the best of NCAA ice hockey to the people of Belfast."
Each year, two ECAC teams and two Hockey East teams spend the Friday and Saturday after American Thanksgiving competing for the Belpot, a play on Boston’s famous Beanpot Tournament.
“The UConn hockey program is excited to be playing in this event,” UConn head coach Mike Cavanaugh said in a statement. “The Friendship Four has grown into a premier event for college hockey and will be a tremendous experience for our student-athletes."
The tournament is held at SSE Arena, home of the Belfast Giants, who play in the Elite Ice Hockey League. The first year of the tournament, 2015, was the first time NCAA hockey was played outside of North America.
The 2017 version will feature RPI and Clarkson of the ECAC along with Providence and Maine from Hockey East.