EDINA, Minn. – March 3, 2016 – In a historic agreement that will bring live television coverage of its top game throughout the Upper Midwest region and beyond, the women's Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) today announced an exclusive partnership with FOX Sports North (FSN) to telecast the championship game of the 2016 WCHA Final Face-Off.
FOX Sports North, the region's preeminent sports network, will provide a live telecast of the premier conference title contest in women's college hockey, a 2:07 p.m. CT game Sunday, March 6 at Ridder Arena on the University of Minnesota campus. The game will also be shown live on the FOX Sports Wisconsin alternate channel, ensuring coverage throughout much of the WCHA's footprint.
"The opportunity to showcase our jewel event on this platform is an exciting development for the WCHA, our programs and our fans," said WCHA Interim Women's Commissioner Bill Robertson. "The Final Face-Off brings together many of the nation's top teams and players, and often serves as a springboard for NCAA tournament success. The FOX Sports family, beginning with FOX Sports North, is the perfect partner to bring our championship game to college hockey fans across the region."
The 2016 WCHA Final Face-Off championship game will also be streamed live on FOX Sports GO. FOX Sports GO is available to customers of participating pay-TV providers on iOS, Android, Fire tablets and Fire phones, Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, select Windows devices and online at FOXSportsGO.com. The two Final Face-Off semifinal games, set for Saturday, March 5, will be streamed live and free of charge on both WCHA.com and gophersports.com.
Both the championship game telecast and all webcasts will feature the on-air talent of veteran play-by-play announcer Jack Swanson alongside color commentator Natalie Darwitz – the current head coach at Hamline University and a three-time Olympian, three-time All-American, two-time NCAA champion and Most Outstanding Player at the 2005 WCHA tournament.
Top-seed, nationally third-ranked, WCHA regular season champion and defending Final Face-Off winner Wisconsin (32-3-1) will face fourth-seed Minnesota Duluth (15-20-1), which upset Bemidji State in the first round, in the first Final Face-Off semifinal at 2:07 p.m. CT on Saturday, March 5. Second-seed Minnesota (31-3-1; ranked No. 2 nationally), playing on its home ice, will face long-time rival and third-seed North Dakota (18-11-5; ranked No. 10 nationally) in the second semifinal at 5:07 p.m. CT. The two semifinal winners will play Sunday, March 6 at 2:07 p.m. CT for the WCHA playoff championship and an automatic berth into the 2016 NCAA Tournament.
About FOX Sports North
FOX Sports North reaches more than 2 million homes throughout Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and North and South Dakota and telecasts nearly 2,600 hours of locally produced programming per year. For more information about the Emmy Award-winning regional sports network: www.foxsportsnorth.com.
About the 2016 WCHA Final Face-Off
The premier conference tournament in women's college hockey is returning to the sport's most iconic venue, as the 2016 WCHA Final Face-Off will be held March 5 and 6 at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis. All-tournament packages or single-season tickets are available for purchase directly through the Gopher Sales & Service Department; in-person at Mariucci Arena (during regular office hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT, Monday-Friday), via phone at 612-624-8080 (Option 2) or online here.
About the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA)
The women's Western Collegiate Hockey Association has won a record 15 national championships in 16 years since its inception in 1999, while producing six Patty Kazmaier Award winners, 76 All-Americans and numerous Olympic and international team members. The eight-team Division 1 conference consists of: Bemidji State University (Beavers), the University of Minnesota (Golden Gophers), the University of Minnesota Duluth (Bulldogs), Minnesota State University (Mavericks), the University of North Dakota, Ohio State University (Buckeyes), St. Cloud State University (Huskies) and the University of Wisconsin (Badgers). For more information, visit www.wcha.com.