Boy, it sure does seem like this summer took forever. Maybe it was just the oppressive heat making it feel that way. The ACHA starts their season in September, and if you are a southern state, well, you are still having to wear tanktops to the rink and not exactly wanting to wear a hockey jersey. What a great excuse to cool off in a rink though. Welcome back to the wonderful smells of frozen water, the sounds of skates, and sticks smacking hard rubber disks.
Some teams within the American Collegiate Hockey Association started play at the beginning of September, mostly against Jr teams and non-DI teams, while the majority start Sept. 15th.
The WCHL had 2 teams starting Sept. 9th, Missouri State hosting DII Augustana and Arkansas hosting DII East Texas Baptist University.
Missouri State took 7-0 and 12-0 wins, sweeping a very small rostered Augustana. WCHL 2015-2016 Rookie of Year winner Marshall Gevers netted a hat trick in Saturday night’s romp. Saturday was also MSU’s Logan Lopicka’s birthday, who found a way to get himself a birthday goal. Former Jr. Tulsa Oilers Sam Hiserodt opened up the scores for the Bears on both nights. All in all, the Icebears newcomers looked strong and quite capable of finding the net.
Arkansas defeated ACHA newcomer ETBU 19-1 and 11-0 in their weekend opening set, who also suffered from a small numbered bench. Arkansas made the move to DI from DIII last season, finishing 21st in rankings, the highest in ACHA history for a DIII to DI team jump. Arkansas is icing 13 new players this season and carries several former WSHL JR. players.
The season really takes off on September 15th, although it is mainly WCHL teams. Oklahoma, Colorado, Colorado State, Missouri State and Arkansas are all in action that weekend. MSU, Colorado, CSU and Arkansas have their first Conference tri-fecta swap of the season.
Although UCO ended the season as the WCHL conference champions, Colorado was right on their heels. This season, it is expected to see Colorado take the Cup back to Boulder. There sure is nothing simple or easy about the WCHL conference, all teams being highly competitive and hungry for their wins. MSU has beefed up their bench, Arizona State is also back in the ACHA and WCHL this season; OU, Arkansas and CSU are ready to prove they hang with the best of them. It should be an exciting season for club hockey fans.
Get out and support you local hockey!