For Immediate Release

The 23rd annual NCAA Division III tournament takes place Thanksgiving weekend

Albany, NY – October 21, 2021 – FirstLight, a leading provider of fiber-optic data, Internet, data center, cloud, and voice services to enterprise and carrier customers throughout the Northeast and mid-Atlantic, has adopted a beloved event in the Eastern New York and Vermont region, and renamed it the FirstLight Great Northern Shootout.

This NCAA Division III college hockey tournament takes place annually during Thanksgiving weekend among three colleges with one additional invited team. Norwich University in Vermont, State University of New York Plattsburgh, and Middlebury College in Vermont are the three mainstays of the event. This year, the Milwaukee School of Engineering is the invited college.

The tournament, which rotates among the three regular participants, will be held at the Chip Kenyon ‘85 Arena at Middlebury College in Vermont on November 26th and 27th.

Since the first tournament was held in 1998, a participating team has gone on to win the NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Division III title nine times. The tournament is a major college hockey attraction and area tradition that regularly boasts some of the top teams in the country. Coverage has been hailed by several local sports reporters as being “the best tournament in Division III hockey.”

Last year’s event was cancelled due to the pandemic, but this year’s FirstLight Great Northern Shootout will mark the 23rd tournament.

“We are excited to host this flagship event and continue this region’s longstanding tradition,” said FirstLight President and CEO Kurt Van Wagenen. “The athletes, students, and fans are eager to return to the excitement of live college hockey. We’re proud to sponsor this Thanksgiving tradition and celebrate the talent of these athletes.”

The games will also be livestreamed by the Northeast Sports Network. Check local listings for station information. For details on the event, visit