After announcing a number of neutral-site games to be played at NHL arenas, the PWHL has branched out into the men's NCAA hockeysphere, announcing Monday afternoon that Minnesota and Toronto will be playing later this month at 3M Arena at Mariucci.
Named for Hockey Hall of Fame inductee and "godfather of Minnesota hockey" John Mariucci, the iconic NCAA venue is host to the Minnesota Golden Gophers men's hockey team. It also played host to two women's Frozen Four events, including the inaugural one in 2001 featuring two members of Toronto's front office (GM Gina Kingsbury and hockey ops manager Tuula Puputti).
The women's team played there for its first few seasons before getting its own venue, Ridder Arena, next door, but this would effectively be the first major women's hockey event held at Mariucci since 2006. With that said, a number of alumnae — including Minnesota defender Lee Stecklein, forward Grace Zumwinkle, and first overall draft pick Taylor Heise — will be making their return to the campus proper for the faceoff with Toronto.
The arena has a listed capacity of approximately 10,000, with its most recent renovations completed in October 2023 potentially increasing that to around 10,250 including suites and club seating. If completely sold out, this event would not break any records previously set by PWHL Minnesota this season (13,316 on Jan. 6) but would mark another opportunity for attendance to cross over that 10,000 benchmark.
Tickets will go on sale starting Thursday, with puck drop on the 27th set for 7 p.m. Central time (8 p.m. ET).