The ACHA has released the third of four D3 rankings which finds Alabama and Arkansas solidly positioned in the South (Alabama) and Pacific (Arkansas) Regions as their Region’s #2 teams. The Final Rankings will be posted a week after next month’s SECHC Playoffs. The two teams ranked #1 and #2 in each of the four Regions receive an automatic bid to Nationals (hosted by Alabama & the City of Pelham) and do not have to compete at Regionals. Teams ranked #3 to #10 will compete at Regionals; the two teams winning two games at Regionals advance to Nationals.
The ACHA has posted the final South region and Pacific region rankings which finds SECHC teams posed for postseason play. In the final Pacific region rankings, the Arkansas Ice Hogs retained their #2 ranking and earned their second straight auto bid to the D3 Nationals. The University of Alabama Frozen Tide duplicated Arkansas’s accomplishment by taking the #2 position in the South region’s final ranking. Alabama also receives an auto bid to the 2015 Nationals hosted next month at their home rink in Pelham, AL. The Frozen Tide’s auto bid to Nationals was the team’s first ever auto bid awarded to the #1 and #2 top ranked teams in all four ACHA Regions. Alabama and Arkansas will stay home to help injured players heal while practicing and getting ready for Nationals and skipping the always grueling Regional’s playoffs.
South Carolina and Ole Miss each qualify for the South region playoffs and are headed to Orlando, FL. The South region playoffs will take place 20-21 Feb, 2015. In order to advance to Nationals, two of the eight participating teams must win on Friday and Saturday. The two teams winning their two regional playoffs games advance to Nationals. Sadly, Vanderbilt barely missed the cut in the final rankings missing out on the all-important 10th spot by a mere 3-points.
Alabama Hockey recently announced they are joining Arkansas as both teams move to ACHA D1 status next season. Arkansas will retain a D3 team playing out of the Pacific region and as a member of the SECHC. Alabama will not field a D3 team next season. As commissioner of the SECHC for the past 6-years, I am thrilled and proud to see two of our teams make the move to D1 status. Since 1999, I have been involved with college hockey in the south while serving as an assistant coach with Georgia Tech hockey for 10-years, south region coordinator for 5-years and SECHC commissioner for 6-years. It has been my strong desire and personal goal to see teams from the south move to ACHA D1 status and subsequently move to NCAA D1 status. For the first time in 16-years, I now have confidence and hope that this dream is becoming closer to reality. Sincere congratulations to the University of Arkansas Ice Hogs and to the University of Alabama Frozen Tide. There is no way I can properly articulate how thrilled and proud I am of both teams and our entire SEC Hockey Conference. Best of luck to everyone headed to Nationals and remember…“You can’t step out of bounds in hockey!”
SOUTH FINAL RANKINGS
|1||Florida Gulf Coast (7)||6|
|8||North Carolina -Wilmington||50|
|Also Receiving Votes: East Carolina, Tennessee, Florida|
PACIFIC FINAL RANKING
|1||Colorado State (7)||8|
|3||Metro State (1)||18|
|7||Robert Morris - White||52|
|12||Santa Rosa JC||88|
SEC Hockey Conference