Pepsi Center to host state hockey semifinals and championship

(Ryan Casey/CHSAANow.com)

AURORA — The 2018 state hockey semifinals and championship games will be held at the Pepsi Center.

That news came on Thursday morning as the state's hockey coaches and administrators met for their annual scheduling meeting. Jason Schofield, who oversees the Amateur Hockey Department for the Colorado Avalanche, made the announcement. The Avalanche will be hosting the Frozen Four.

"We're excited about that," Schofield said. "We're going to have a spotlight on it. It's an exciting time."

The semifinals will be held on March 1, a Thursday, at 5:30 and 7 p.m., with the championship game set for March 6, a Tuesday. A time for the title game is still to be determined.

"To see high school hockey where it is now is awesome, and it's because of the work you guys do," Schofield told the coaches and administrators. "We're happy to support it in any way we can."

The Avalanche also hosted last year's Frozen Four, with the games held at DU's Magness Arena.

The Pepsi Center is the state's premier hockey venue, and is the home to the NHL's Colorado Avalanche and NBA's Denver Nuggets. It has a capacity of 18,007, and also hosts the state wrestling tournament every year.

"Jason had this vision six years ago when we first met," said CHSAA assistant commissioner Bud Ozzello, who oversees hockey. "We saw the first step last year, and we're taking another step this year."

The Pepsi Center has hosted the state hockey championship once before, in 2011.

The hope is that this move will give hockey's title game a more permanent home.

In recent years, the Frozen Four has been held at DU (2017, 2012, 2013), Loveland's Budweiser Events Center (2015, 2016), the Denver Coliseum (2014), as well as the World Arena in Colorado Springs.