While the hockey season isn't done, as the postseason is about to begin, there are some farewells being offered up across the NCAA landscape for one feature of a Minnesota hockey arena. This was the last year in which the University of Minnesota will use a larger sheet of ice, next year the rink will be closer to an 'NHL' sized rink rather than a larger Olympic style.

The University of Minnesota Men's Hockey Team posted a farewell photo of the ice sheet at 3M Arena at Mariucci.

The caption under the photo of a packed arena was simple but effective.

Farewell to the big sheet 
30 years of #PrideOnIce memories.

The ice sheet was one of the largest being used in the NCAA this year. According to the Rinkytown blog in June of last year, the University of Minnesota Regents approved a 14-million dollar project that would:

"Upgrade the ice plant that is used for the arena and for adjoining Ridder Arena. Included in the funding request were detailed plans to shrink the ice sheet from its current dimensions (200 feet long by 100 feet wide) and add some “on the glass” seating.

The project, which is expected to happen a year from now, will leave the Gophers men with an ice sheet that is larger than standard NHL size (200’ x 85’) and will likely be a hybrid closer to 200’ x 92’. The renovations will also change the radius of the corners of the rink, which are currently close to square, to make them more gradual."

CollegeHockeyNews.com wrote in 2018 that there were 9 NCAA schools using the larger 'Olympic' size rinks, those schools were;

Alaska, Alaska-Anchorage, Colorado College, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Northern Michigan, St. Cloud, and Wisconsin

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Many of those schools listed in 2018 have or have considered shrinking the sheet of ice down to a size that is closer to the NHL, some people claim the larger size makes a difference in style of play, while others claim it doesn't.

Will it make a difference for the home and visiting teams? Let us know on our FREE app.

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