D2 Nationals Primer

With Nationals nearly underway, just a happy reminder that more than one team that earned a postseason berth didn’t get it because ¯_(ツ)_/¯

“The Trine men’s ACHA D2 hockey team have made the most of their inaugural season, wasting no time in becoming a powerhouse in the central region and taking a direct bid to the ACHA National Tournament.” (via Trine Press Release)


How can a program be a second year member if this is the first year with an active team at any level? :thinking:

Enjoy the tournament everyone.

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Thank you for someone bringing this to light!

Beyond that, CLUB hockey is starting to become some CLUB hockey and then “mini little school that has less than 5,000 students but their athlete department is trying to land their school on the map so they pump $$$$$ into a CLUB team and throw “scholarships” at players which we know is illegal at the ACHA level but is still glanced over by the ACHA all mighty and when all is said and done in just under a year or two becomes an ACHA powerhouse while other schools spend years and years and years to try to achieve this but no longer can because of course a 18-20 year old kid who has been babied by mommy and daddy their whole life and still think that going to the NHL is a reality but when that reality is finally shattered they go to the school that is illegally throwing $$$$$ at them because they will settle with that for 2nd place of not going to the NHL and then in return screw all the programs that are playing by the rules and are legitimate CLUB hockey programs”

You know which programs you are!

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Chill out Bryan. What you have referenced here is far from accurate.

Who is Bryan?
This is nothing but the truth!

The Trine situation is quite problematic in my opinion - Had they preformed better at nationals I think much of this would have surfaced on a more prominent level. In Trine’s inaugural season, they committed to 35 players for their NCAA III team. Upon arriving to campus for the fall, every player tried out for the NCAA III team, and the top 20 guys were rostered, the next 15 were “sent down” to the ACHA II team. The ACHA team is treated like an NCAA III team (fully funded, equipment/travel provided etc.) While this is inherently bad for club hockey it happened. THEN, for them to be eligible in their first year adds to the ridiculousness of the situation. Many of these players will transfer after this school year, as they were promised NCAA III and ended up playing club, or as they called it “JV”.

11/16 of the Nationals Teams this year are fully funded programs. They practice twice as much as their competition, and are not restricted by financials in any way. While they are not doing anything wrong (not offering scholarships per se), the allure of having hockey completely paid for is enough to draw players they would never have otherwise. The fact FGCU players are going on to play professionally in Europe post-grad is absurd.

Take away the fully funded programs, and look at the Top 4 in each region for Nationals, here’s how pools would have looked:

W1 Denver
C2 Minnesota
NE3 UMass
SE4 Delaware

SE1 Penn St.
W2 MSU - Denver
C3 Michigan

NE1 Northeastern
SE2 Cincinnati
W3 Colorado
C4 Michigan St.

C1 St. Louis
NE2 New Hampshire
SE3 Miami Ohio
W4 Grand Canyon

THAT is what club hockey should look like. That is a level playing field - Any team could win that tournament. That is how competition should be.

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@ACHA1996 I agree with your overall theme, however I’m not sure 11/16 teams at Nationals were fully funded. In addition to the team listed in the pools, Northern Colorado, Toledo, Northern Az, Utah St and William Patterson are not fully funded.

Couldn’t agree more about FGCU, it’s time for ACHA D1. I would be interested to see how they would fair in a D1 national tournament.

Couldn’t agree more about FGCU, it’s time for ACHA D1. I would be interested to see how they would fair in a D1 national tournament.

Top 15, easy

Thank you ACHA1996 for taking my rant and putting it into a comprehension thought.

There will continue to be “Trines” every year. Trines, Auroras, McKendrees, Lindenwoods, Marians, Adrians, Iowa States etc. Its not an even playing field at all.

Be on the look out for Maryville University. They are the next up and coming fully funded program.

The joke continues!

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Have you addressed this question with the board members, Paul Hebert etc. Perhaps they should be the ones you talk to and they can give you some answers. They are the ones that run the ACHA and set the rules, or maybe this can be addressed in Naples

Re: Maryville. Fully funded and per the press release “have participation awards available for potential student-athletes interested in playing”. The trend is a valid concern as most D2 coaches/programs can’t get their players a dime off on tuition.

To my knowledge this has been brought up to the board but they look the other way because it is adding “growth” and “strength” to the ACHA.
The whole Trine thing was brought up to them, they admitted it was wrong but said “well its too late now”.

Which, of course, it wasn’t too late. It could have been corrected at any time during the season, prior to the final rankings and Regionals. Either way, someone was getting the short end of the stick. Instead of deciding to ENFORCE THE RULES AS WRITTEN INTO THE MANUAL and having Trine sit out their first year, McKendree had to go to Regionals instead of directly to Nationals (lost) and Wisconsin at Eau Claire didn’t get to go to Regionals. So, instead of holding back one team, in the end they screwed two. Great choice.

On the other issue, what is a “participation award” and why is that not just another way of saying scholarship?

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Most if not all of the teams I mentioned above offer the “participation award”. Call me crazy now but if I were a betting man, I would say Maryville will probably be at regionals next year and as we speak they haven’t even touched the ice as a program. The ACHA will look the other way and not enforce the first year rule and the strength of having the “participation award” will again serve as a huge advantage over other programs. If this is true, something within the ACHA needs to be done. I think we have come to a cross road where it is time for the ACHA to split. A true club ACHA and then a fully funded ACHA. The growth we have seen at the ACHA level is truely great. But alot of programs will continue to spin their wheels and get nothing for their volunteering efforts while the fully funded programs with “participation awards” get the easy street to success.

And I know my last post is going to get a lot of people to not like what I have to say. But please do think about it this way. I am the coach and manager of the ACHA team I run. I get up every morning and have a full time career that pays for a roof over my family’s head and puts food on the table. In my free time in the evening and weekends, I put in a great amount of time that takes me away from many aspects of life in order for our ACHA team to compete. Now on the other end of things these fully funded programs the coach wakes up in the morning and begins working and putting his daily efforts into the ACHA team he works for in order to put a roof over his family’s head and food on the table. If you don’t see an issue with that, then you are the problem.

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I wouldn’t make that bet if I were you. :grinning:

Well that’s good news but do you have any insight on the Trine situation and why they were allowed to participate in Nationals during their first season?

I do. They were allowed to participate as basic foundational rules of the ACHA were inconsistently applied and/or ignored over the past few years vs. other similar situations (see M1 Jamestown last season).

That’s not the case anymore. :grinning:

With all due respect, what does that statement even mean?

Surely you aren’t just finding out about all of this from a forum discussion. Did the ACHA know that basic foundational rules were not followed and STILL chose to continue the practice anyway to allow Trine to go to Nationals?

I agree with you. Chris Perry, you are on the Board as the secretary. Please explain exactly what is meant by what you said. Board members should have known what was going on and if they had a problem with it, they should have addressed it.

The procedure of allowing teams to pay a year in advance of playing in D2 was introduce many years ago by the previous D2 administration. It was done to increase the number of teams coming into the ACHA. The goal was to have as many players as possible playing the game at the college level. The process has done exactly that. The level of play have increased a great deal over the last five years and we now have over 200 teams at the D2 level. The present ACHA administration feels it is time to end this practice.
Many teams coming in are now fully funding their programs and are finding that this is attracting hockey players to come to their schools. It is being used as a recruiting tool. They are hiring and paying coaches, placing the running of the program in the hands of the athletic department and finding that this is sustainable if run correctly. This is not an illegal maneuver.
Many of the teams that have been at the D2 level for years feel the program should be run the same way the other student run organizations operate with the students in-charge. There is very little recruiting and the leadership changes every year. Students fire coaches and the turnover does allow for the program to advance. There are many teams that are long standing successful D2 members that not allowed to use the schools logos or mascots, because they are not a part of “athletics”. There is a wide range of support for the teams in Division 2. It is not fair to knock the teams because they follow the rules of the ACHA. There are regulations that must be refined and they will be, but we also need the write them so we maintain the interest and the quality of the game that we have worked so hard build. Thanks for listening