The Indiana University men’s hockey team is advancing to their first back-to-back ACHA Hockey National Tournament appearance for the first time since 2006.
This after the number 6 seed Hoosiers defeated the number four seed Ohio Bobcats 3-1, in the championship game to reach the national tournament for the second year in a row.
Tom MacDonald almost had a hat trick with 2 goals for the Hoosiers, including the game-sealing goal of the match with 3:14 to start the third quarter.
When the second half ended, Hoosiers Luke Slaven caught a pass assisted by his teammate, Will Kiecker, and scored a power-play goal with one second left to go before the intermission. The score was Indiana 2, Ohio 0.
The Bobcats only scored one goal in the final 15:14 of the game, with an assist from Patrick Roach and Jack Mueller, who gave the puck to Hayden Ripley, scoring Ohio’s only goal of the game in the third quarter of play.
The goalkeepers came out in full force for both the Bobcats and the Hoosiers as Indiana’s goalkeeper, Sam Billis, who was told to be in the game due to a goalkeeper change, saved all but one goal in the contest in an impressive 19/20 save showing in the matchup where every save was critical. He played in all 60 minutes of the game.
Goalies were switched for the Bobcats with 17:25 left in the game as Matthew Zazon, #31, skated towards the bench to allow for an open crease the Hoosiers could cross.
As the Hoosiers won the tournament in back-to-back years, emotions rang out on the ice as the Hoosiers did it again, and are still waiting for their fate in the tournament on an opponent they will be facing against as the ACHA National Hockey Tournament is wrapping up their Division 1, 2, and 3 men’s brackets, while the women’s Division 1 and 2 matchups are still being determined with games going on tonight.
Since IU’s hockey team was developed in 1968, in the 6 national championships in the 1980s and 1990s, then through 16 national championship appearances during that time span, the team has faced significant hardship since the pandemic.
According to their BeInvolved, Indiana University’s main clubs and organizations resource activity website, during the 2020-21 season, a school year masked by the COVID-19 Pandemic, the team was losing funding while allowing just practices and tryouts, nothing else. IU did not play any games that season, leading to uncertainty for the team and its ownership.
When things did kick back up for the team during the 2021-22 season, IU won their first TSCHL League Championship since the late 1990s. The team went on to win all three games in their regional tournament and make an appearance in the ACHA National Championship Tournament.
Marking the end of the tragedy and the beginning of triumph, IU hockey is back and better than ever going into the championship season at a time when IU sports this season are thriving in men’s and women’s basketball, swim and dive, track and field, and wrestling as the clock strikes to spring.
The Hoosiers will play in the ACHA Hockey National Championship Tournament at the New England Sports Center in Boston, Massachusetts from March 16-21.
A tournament opponent who will face off against IU in the final is still yet to be determined at this time.
Tickets for the tournament cost $25 for day passes and $65 for an all-tournament pass. Tickets are available online at nesskatersedge.com and go to “2023 ACHA National Tournament tickets” on their main website.
Comments / 0