The 2016 American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) National Championships will go down as some of the most thrilling in recent memory. Chris Ostrander, the Public Relations Manager for the ACHA, said the finals reinforced the strength and momentum of the ACHA as a whole.
“We had another tremendous season from beginning to end,” Ostrander said. “We continue to see our alumni finding their way into the professional ranks in North America and even Europe. Five different states were represented by our respective national champions, showing once again the incredible reach the ACHA has.”
Ostrander noted that the women’s divisions arguably showcased the most exciting title games, and that the rising level of talent will be reaching the pro levels – the Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL) and National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) – more and more.
“Probably the most entertaining championships came from our women's divisions as both Miami (Ohio) and Minnesota Duluth needed overtime to capture the ACHA Division 1 and Division 2 championships,” Ostrander said. “It speaks not only to the level of competition and parity that has been cultivated, but an impressive increase in skill as well. Among the professional leagues ACHA alums played in this past year were the CWHL and NWHL, and I expect to continue to see a steady stream of ACHA players filling those leagues for years to come.”
Ostrander recapped this year’s championship games.
ACHA Men’s Division 1
Result: Lindenwood University (Mo.) 2, Iowa State University 1
Lindenwood scored two unanswered goals in the second and third period to negate Kody Reuter’s early goal for the Cyclones. After Stephen Bopp tied the game late in the second, Michael Lozano potted the winning tally for the Lions. This is the third national championship for Lindenwood and its first since 2010.
Notes: Lindenwood is 3-3 in national title games … Iowa State is 1-5 all time in national title games, last losing to Lindenwood in the 2010 finals.
All-Tournament Teams: http://achahockey.org/files/uploaded_documents/2439/16_allt.pdf
ACHA Men’s Division 2
Result: Florida Gulf Coast University 4, Liberty University (Va.) 1
Florida Gulf Coast University won its second ACHA title and first since 2012, beating Liberty University 4-1. The Eagles scored in all three periods – never relinquishing their lead – to secure the title. FGCU has played in five national championship games (2-3 record), including each of the last three seasons and four times in five years.
ACHA Men’s Division 3
Result: Oakland University (Mich.) 5, Aquinas College (Mich.) 3
Oakland won its first Division 3 title with a 5-3 victory over Aquinas. It was the first appearance in the championship for either school and the fifth year in a row a Michigan-based school won the Division 3 title.
All-Tournament Team: http://achahockey.org/view/achahockey/acha-hockey-news/news_418183
ACHA Women’s Division 1
Result: Miami University (Ohio) 3, Grand Valley State University (Mich.) 2 (OT)
Becca Senden was the overtime hero for Miami as the RedHawks topped GVSU 3-2 for their second national championship. Miami has played for the title each of the last three seasons, losing only to Liberty last spring.
Tournament Recap: http://achahockey.org/view/achahockey/acha-hockey-news/news_419495
ACHA Women’s Division 2
Result: University of Minnesota Duluth 2, Rainy River Community College (Minn.) 1 (2 OT)
A dramatic double-overtime triumph delivered Minnesota Duluth its first women’s crown, defeating Rainy River CC 2-1 thanks to the heroics of Katherine Johnson. It was RRCC’s first trip back to the finals after playing in four straight from 2008-2011 and winning in three of their four trips.
Tournament Recap: http://achahockey.org/view/achahockey/acha-hockey-news/news_419496