College hockey is coming to the Vineyard next weekend, Jan. 15 and 16, with the first ever college hockey tournament held on Island: the MV Showdown.

Sponsored by Martha’s Vineyard Savings Bank, the Showdown will pit four division three teams against each other: Salve Regina, Curry, Hobart and Elmira.

The idea started with Andrew Boschetto, head coach at Salve Regina who founded AB Hockey Development, a summer youth hockey program with a location on the Vineyard. He discussed it with Matt Mincone, the high school boys hockey coach, and Geoghan Coogan, vice president of the Martha’s Vineyard Ice Arena Board and program director for Martha’s Vineyard Youth Hockey. Mr. Boschetto also reached out to Paul J. Falvey, president and CEO of the Martha’s Vineyard Savings Bank and a longtime hockey fan.

“To be involved in an event that’s exclusively Martha’s Vineyard in the off season is really exciting,” said Mr. Falvey. “It couldn’t be a better fit.”

Mr. Boschetto said the growing support for hockey on the Island encouraged him to organize the event. He has been coming to the Vineyard for the past four summers, and during his first year at Salve Regina he coached Trey Rasmussen, a Vineyard kid.

“I just like the Island,” said Mr. Boschetto. “The kids work hard, they’re blue collar, they show up to the rink with their boots on.”

Mr. Mincone, the high school coach, helped organize the event.

“It’s a level of hockey we don’t see here...These are legitimate games that count for them,” Mr. Mincone said, adding that the high school team will be acting as ushers and support staff for the college players.

Mr. Coogan said they blocked out the youth hockey schedule of away games for the weekend so the players could all attend. With numbers closing in around 200, Mr. Coogan said the interest in ice hockey on the Island has never been higher. Coming off some lean years for the high school teams, he predicted that in about two years they will have nearly 20 freshmen trying out for the team.

“Hockey is a game that once kids get into it and get their families invested, it becomes a cult following and it’s really exploding right now,” he said.

They hope to continue the MV Showdown every other year as well as make the arena a destination for college players and even professional athletes, but for this year they just plan to pack the stadium.

“For the coaches and teams, I think it would be awesome to pack the place,” said Mr. Boschetto. “Show what the Island is all about.”

The event is free (although there will be a donation bucket) and youth hockey players are encouraged to wear their hockey jerseys.

Games tip off on Friday Jan. 15 at 4 p.m. followed by a second game at 7 p.m. On Saturday Jan. 16, play begins at 2 p.m. and the second game begins at 5 p.m.