Division 1 NCAA Hockey paid a visit to Smashville for the first time ever last weekend as UAH-Huntsville and Merrimack College took over Bridgestone Arena for two games. Both games were presented by Doubletree Hotel Nashville Downtown.
With their proximity to Nashville making it an easy road trip, UAH Charger fans were out in full force for both games. Their pep band was in the audience and led many of the cheers that could be heard echoing throughout the arena. Not to be outdone, a large contingent of Merrimack Warrior fans made the much longer commute to cheer their team to victory. Friday’s game was a close, hard-fought match. UAH got on the board first as the team traded goals throughout the game. In the third period, the Warriors grabbed the 5-4 lead and held on to win the game with the same score. Saturday’s game showcased Merrimack’s offensive talent as they skated away with the 7-0 win.
While the two college hockey games were the first to have been played at Bridgestone Arena, the arena hopes that they won’t be the last. The Nashville Sports Council in conjunction with Bridgestone Arena and the Predators hope to bring college hockey’s signature event, the Frozen Four, to Nashville. Nashville plans to bid for the 2015 or 2016 event if the city meets all the NCAA criteria to host. The NCAA will accept bids for the 2015 and 2016 Frozen Fours beginning in November, and a decision on the host cities for those years will be made in spring 2012.