The 23rd ACHA D1 nationals tournament starts on March 6th and is being hosted this year by the University of Delaware in Newark, DE. 20 out of 57 teams will make the trip. Not surprisingly, Arizona State stays in the #1 spot and takes the top seed. Oklahoma was placed as the #2 seed, a position they haven’t held since 2006. The Sooners have had two weeks to rest and prepare before the journey and are coming off two big wins over the University of Arkansas.
Four WCHL teams are making the trip to Delaware. #1 Arizona State (32-2-0), #2 Oklahoma (24-5-3), #11 Central Oklahoma (24-13-3) and #15 Arizona (17-19-0).
Arizona has been quite the story this season, holding onto the #1 spot for 12 weeks. Led by freshman goaltender Robert Levin (17-1) who has a goals against average of 1.12, save percentage of .957 and has had 6 shutouts. Senior ‘tender Joe D’Elia (13-1) sits fourth in the ACHA in GAA 1.79 and has two shutouts. ASU also has the points leader in the ACHA, Kale Dolinski, who has 19 goals and 53 assists for a total of 71 points.
ASU’s first loss of the season came from Oklahoma, who beat the Sundevils at home 3-1. The Sooners top scorer with 29 goals and 30 assists is Bryce Johnson. Senior goaltender Nick Holmes goes into the tournament 19-7 and has a 2.13 goals against average.
Oklahoma will wait until day 2 before their first game (Fri. at 5pm) and will play the winner of #18 Illinois and Arizona who play at 5pm on March 6th. OU went 0-3 against Arizona this season and 1-1 with Illinois. Neither team will be a cakewalk opponent for the Sooners.
I have more pics from the last regular season games of OU and Arkansas at Puckchk Photos.