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Scheels Arena awarded NCAA regional

GRAND FORKS — If the UND men’s hockey team makes the NCAA tournament next season, it will play its regional in Fargo.

Scheels Arena was awarded the 2015 NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey West Regional on Wednesday as the NCAA announced future postseason sites for both men’s and women’s hockey.

UND will serve as the host for the event, which means, if it gets in, it will automatically be placed there no matter its seeding.

Ralph Engelstad Arena, Scheels Arena and UND all worked together on the bid in a unique partnership. A bid also was submitted to host the event at Ralph Engelstad Arena, but the NCAA recently has opted to go away from home sites.

Although Scheels Arena’s capacity of about 5,000 is smaller than most regional sites, UND and the venues explained in the bid that seven teams — all of which have legit NCAA tournament hopes — are within driving distance and they should sell out the event.

While UND officials were pleased with Fargo’s selection, they were left baffled by two other decisions.

First, UND was not selected to host a Women’s Frozen Four. Of the four listed finalists, it was the only one not to get picked.

The other decision that surprised Faison — and the rest of the college hockey world — was the decision to put a regional at Notre Dame’s home arena in 2015. It will be the first regional at a home site since Mariucci Arena hosted a regional in 2009.