MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The University of Minnesota men’s hockey program announced Friday it will host a contest to name its inaugural Minnesota Tournament at Xcel Energy Center next season.

The Gophers will serve as host to Bemidji State, Minnesota State University-Mankato, St. Cloud State and the University of Minnesota-Duluth in a tournament scheduled for Jan. 23-24, 2014. It’s the inaugural year for the Minnesota Tournament after the Gophers departed from the WCHA to join the newly-formed Big Ten Conference.

The tournament is a way for Minnesota to keep ties with some of its biggest WCHA rivals, and now fans can get more interactive by helping to come up with a name for the event. Over the next few weeks, fans are encouraged to use social media, mainly Facebook and Twitter, to submit their choice for what the tournament will be named.

Fans will have until June 28 to submit their name, and the top five choices can be voted on online until July 8. Officials said the fan vote will account for 25 percent of the overall vote in the process. The winning name will be announced on July 9.

For the first year, the Gophers will compete against Minnesota State-Mankato, St. Cloud State and Minnesota-Duluth, while Bemidji State will be idle. The Gophers will host the tournament for the next four years, with one of the other four teams being idle on a rotating basis.


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