FRISCO, TEXAS - The North American Hockey League (NAHL) has announced the game schedule for the ninth annual NAHL Showcase Tournament, presented by Combat Hockey, which will be held from Sept. 14-17, 2011 at the Schwan Super Rink in Blaine, Minnesota. All 28 NAHL teams will play four regular-season games at the Showcase, which has evolved into one of hockey's most prestigious and well-attended events of the entire season.
The event will also feature 44 teams from the Tier I North American Prospects Hockey League (PHL), eight teams from the Tier III junior North American 3 Hockey League (3HL) and eight additional teams from the Upper Midwest High School Elite League, who will complete the five-day, 88-team showcase event. A complete schedule for all PHL and 3HL teams at the Showcase is expected to be released very soon.
For scouting purposes, the event is a can't-miss for every NCAA program and NHL team as they get their first look at some of the best and brightest hockey talent North America has to offer. The Schwan Super Rink is the largest ice arena of its kind in the world. The state-of-the-art facility, a $21 million project totaling over 300,000 square feet, features eight sheets of ice under one roof. With all its varied amenities and services, the Schwan Super Rink is absolutely unique in the world of ice sport facilities.
It will be the first event of the season for the PHL, which will also be played in conjunction with the Showcase. Now in its third season, the PHL is made up of 44 teams: 18 Midget Major (18U), 18 Midget Minor (16U) and 8 Bantam Major (14U), from 18 programs that compete at the Tier I youth level. For more information on the NAPHL, visit www.naphl.com.
The 3HL season will kick off at the Showcase with eight teams of the 3HL’s West Conference taking the ice. It will be the inaugural games in the 3HL for the league’s four newest teams: Granite City, Minnesota, North Iowa and Twin City, who all were accepted to the league earlier this summer, and who helped expand the 3HL footprint into the states of Minnesota and Iowa. For more information on the 3HL, visit www.na3hl.com
Earlier the NAHL announced its partnership with the Upper Midwest High School Elite League. At the Showcase, the Elite League will feature eight total teams: five teams from Minnesota, one North Dakota/Minnesota combo team, Wisconsin's top prep team and a Manitoba team. The partnership between the NAHL and the Elite League will further enhance the Showcase since both see numerous players commit to NCAA programs each season.
Traditionally, the NAHL Showcase Tournament attracts over 9,000 people in overall attendance, including more than 200 college and professional scouts. With the additions of the 3HL and Elite League, that total is expected to exceed 12,000 for this season.