D-3 entering its last year of true competition. Next year ever regions top team is taking off.
North - Calvin d1, Oakland graduates all of their top scorers and goalie, some north teams are moving to d-2 and others are moving NAIA. (aquansis). The north will be left with Hope College and that’s it.
Pacific - this region has been slowly falling apart and moving to d-2. Metro, Mckendree, Northern Colorado. Not to mention CSU graduates all of their top players. Yes we have Iowa state but they have just become relevant and I wouldn’t be shocked if they moved to d-2. Marquette is also moving d-2.
Atlantic - Bryn Athyn is leaving the acha entirely. The power house that was CAL is a shell now. Neumann has fallen and will take years to get back if they even do. Fairfield takes a huge hit with seniors. Farmingdale has a decent amount of seniors as well. The Atlantic will be Farmingdale and rowan. I would imagine George Mason, QU, udel making a push but they are all subpar teams in the grand scheme.
South- this might be come the new powerhouse because the south has a small d1 presence. FGCU is rumored to jump to a d1/d2 model which I would say that the acha would make UFC, Usf and Tampa move as well to make a d1 presence. But who knows.
So what…D3 will be fine…
North…Hope really!, UM (just getting started), MSU(recently beat Calvin, Aquinas)very young, OU going no where, GVSU still getting better, Calvin will struggle at D1 with big loss of seniors (they would have struggled in the North D3), as does Aquinas(Aquinas will be back), Adrian Gold was always a D2 team playing down. So don’t count North out. Didn’t see any of south or west teams do well against the other North teams.
The Rise of the Empire. The empire will reign supreme for years to come with the upcoming Quinnipiac and the return of Albany. One more good team and the Empire will be 6 teams deep.
I would like to see how teams like CAL, RMU and UPJ rebound after this season. The CHE which for years was neck and neck with the empire, looks like all those western PA kids aren’t staying around home anymore to go to school.
The DVCHC will take a major hit as BAC leaves for the NCAA. Rowan and GMU will be the top 2 teams in this league. Oh boy.
Idk about you guys but the Atlantic isn’t looking so hot.
d3 looks like it is really becoming a d3, where the power teams move up after they are good for a while. I think that would be good. As far as the level of hockey thats left behind, it will be much worse
Baaah…I think you’re over stating the bleak future of the Atlantic…word has it that Sheriff and a large number of his ACHA
cohorts are trying to get D3 to be what it should be…developing programs to aspire to higher levels…allowing programs to
reboot and rebuild…and allowing a certain competition level to be played by programs that desire that.
The Empire is the shiny penny this year , but its cyclical. Each conference has had its day in the sun. Lets assume
Farmingdale actually pursues D2 as it should and Fairfield does actually lose a bunch of seniors…well you get the idea.
The "elite " should continue to develop and move on up to D2 and D1. The committed D3 programs will establish a level of play and will develop and refine it as has been done over the years.
Adrian will have a D3 team in 2017-18
Aquinas will have a D3 team in 2018-19
Calvin will have D3 team 2017-18
LTU will have a D3 team 2017-18
All of those programs, unless I am mistaken, are FREE to play. Granted, those schools are a bit more expensive and tougher to get into, but Davenport and Adrian championed this ‘multiple program’ model 5-7 years ago and they were D3 powerhouses(Adrian still is). With the right people at the helm, these programs will help keep the north relevant.
As for Oakland, they will stay D3 at least one more year, and those guys can throw out an ACME style net and catch enough AAA/HS players to stay at the top for the foreseeable future.
Don’t act like the north stopped producing top talent after Massa and Hellebuyck were born.