From an execution standpoint, the folks at XCel Energy Center and the University of Minnesota showed again that they can indeed stage a quality hockey event. No issues there.
However, I know from interactions with fans via email, Twitter, text, and in person that this was not a perfect weekend. The people with the NSCC have work to do, and there will be no shortage of ideas and suggestions on how to make this thing better.
Among the thoughts I heard, many repeatedly:
- At the very least, the championship game should be continuous overtime, not a five-minute overtime followed by a shootout.
- The ticket pricing is not perfect, and fans were generally not pleased with both games each day being on one ticket. If organizers thought they'd get St. Cloud State or Minnesota fans to attend the UMD-Minnesota State game Friday afternoon, the 13,000 empty seats would beg to differ.
- There needs to be more fan interaction during media timeouts inside the arena.
I'm going to compile a list of the best or most commonly-communicated gripes and ideas about the tournament and will pass them on to people who might actually be able to do something about it.
While it would have been cooler had UMD won the tournament, it was a good time and I feel this is going to be a very good event as time goes on.