New ACHA club hockey conference to launch in 2019-20 - Midwest College Hockey

Discussion in 'NCAA, U Sports, and other college' started by No Fun Shogun, Nov 9, 2018.

  1. No Fun Shogun

    No Fun Shogun 34-38-61-10-13-15

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    As a longtime Illini club hockey fan currently living near to Illinois State, this caught my eye:

    ACHA to Launch New Men's D-I Conference | ACHA

    In other words, Lindenwood is probably going to wreck shop in this conference for the foreseeable future.
     
  2. Barclay Donaldson

    Barclay Donaldson Registered User

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    Does this mean that the NAIA Varsity division is going to fall apart? Lindenwood-Belleville, Waldorf, and Midland were part of it and it looks that would leave them with 3 teams.

    And I think you're confusing Lindenwood with Lindenwood-Belleville. LU-B, and most of these teams, would get beat pretty badly by Lindenwood.
     
  3. sbkbghockey

    sbkbghockey Registered User

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    Looks like the varsity NAIA team are partnering back up with ACHA at the ACHA DI level. I haven't followed it very close, but there appears to be some new direction and leadership at the ACHA, including hiring Craig Barnett of the NAHL as Exec Director. The new ACHA DI membership is largely the varsity NAIA programs and other university athletic department funded programs such as Maryville (MO) and McKendree (IL). That might be the direction that ACHA DI is going to eventually revamp ACHA DI into a varsity/funded level with a few exceptions for the very well supported club programs or ones that also receive university support.
     
  4. JMCx4

    JMCx4 Gateway to Hockey

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    +1. Two different Lindenwood University hockey programs playing at two very different levels in two different states (Lions in Wentzville MO, and Lynx in Belleville, IL).
     
  5. Barclay Donaldson

    Barclay Donaldson Registered User

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    If memory serves correctly Lindenwood has a NCAA D1 women's team and a men's team that is treated much the same, and is club in name only. A quick search also shows they're moving into the Blues' new state-of-the-art practice facility, which probably will facilitate rumors they'll join the women's team in NCAA D1 ranks since it seats 2,500.

    LU-B, going off their results, roster, and grainy footage, looks like they'd get annihilated rather than beaten badly by Lindenwood.
     
  6. JMCx4

    JMCx4 Gateway to Hockey

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    Lindenwood (MO) men's hockey has two ACHA squads, both doing very well this season. The Div I team is 14-0, while the Div II team is 11-2. Both men's & the women's team are indeed slated to call the St. Louis Community Ice Center home next season (very near my house & construction progressing on schedule toward a Fall 2019 opening). The facility will house four rinks (three indoors), with only the largest one seating over 2,000 for hockey. I'd expect the Lindenwood teams to use the NHL-sized sheets with much smaller seating capacities for most of their games.

    The NCAA D1 rumors for the top men's ACHA team can be facilitated all they want, but I just don't see that happening with the size of the school & a lack of rich hockey-loving alumni in this area. The only reason the Lady Lions are Division 1 seems to be to keep a College Hockey America conference vital, so the large-school D-I squads have 6 easy teams on their schedules. I'm not intending to slight the Lindenwood Lions women's team by that statement, though; I've been a fan the last 2 seasons & they offer very energetic and entertaining hockey against teams both within their conference & non-conference.
     
  7. sbkbghockey

    sbkbghockey Registered User

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    LUB hasn't played LU since they moved to the NAIA Division, but going back a couple season's LUB had one-goal losses to LU in the year they won the ACHA DI championship. The teams in this new league transitioning back from the NAIA Division to ACHA DI should be competitive at DI.

    Midwest College Hockey will probably be a two-horse race between Midland and LUB for the next couple seasons... McKendree is up-and-coming and I think Maryville will continue to build, especially after they move into their new two-sheet facility in Chesterfield, MO.

    Lindenwood has the money and resources to compete at DI. Near the beginning of the men's and women's hockey programs in the early 2000s, LU was interested in the CHA for both teams, wanted to NCAA for hockey and stay NAIA in other sports back then.... Certainly the partnership with the new Blues facility close to campus is interesting. Problem now would be a home for men's hockey, there's no more CHA or CCHA and the NCHC wouldn't likely take an upstart. WCHA would be spread from Ohio-Alabama-MO-MN-AK, and the best league for LU to start, Atlantic Hockey, has no nearby competition.
     
  8. JMCx4

    JMCx4 Gateway to Hockey

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    @sbkbghockey: Thanks for the history lesson. You might recall that the Blues' original plan for sharing ice with another team was to bring a USHL franchise to St. Louis. That plan faded to black around the time the Blues & Legacy Ice were hurrying to start their new arena on Creve Coeur County Park land before anyone noticed. So I figured "Plan B" was to bring the Lindenwood programs on board to fill ice time & advance the "Community Ice" perception of the casino-adjacent hockey complex now under construction. I would've supported either Tier I or college hockey there, but I'm still not sure how well LU hockey will draw when locals - especially the student body - are asked to pay admission.
     
  9. Bonk

    Bonk Registered User

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    NCHC is probably the best fit with Nebraska-Omaha, Miami, two Colorado schools and four up north, but I can't see that league accepting a team without a major rink deal in place.
     
  10. JMCx4

    JMCx4 Gateway to Hockey

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    Correction: The LU Lady Lions play-by-play guy just noted that he had spoken to head coach Scott Spencer earlier today, and Spencer told him the Lady Lions would be skating on the Community Ice rink with the 2,500 seats. I guess me 'n' Mrs. JMC will be able to leave our portable stadium seats at home next year.
     
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  11. mk80

    mk80 Registered User

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    I would love for Lindenwood to move the men's team into NCAA play, and hopefully hire me as the full-time play-by-play voice in the process. That said I don't see the university doing it at least in a short term view. As we all know the two biggest hurdles for college programs is having a suitable arena and Title IX. With Lindenwood the arena check box can be marked off as the 2500 seat SLICE (St. Louis Community Ice Center) would fit right in capacity wise and facility amenity wise with many D1 arenas across all conferences.

    Lindenwood's biggest issue which has honestly prevented them from adding NCAA men's hockey already is Title IX. Currently they would not meet the percentage standards for fulfilling Title IX, meaning that the majority of the entire student population is women. My numbers are a bit off, but its in the ballpark range about 52-48%, however Lindenwood's student athlete population is skewed towards having way more men due to having football, and such where no women's sport can match the athletic numbers. Also the school is running out of women's NCAA recognized sports to add, as they were over ambitious when joining the NCAA, they added Gymnastics recently, and are looking to pull up I believe women's water polo into the NCAA to help meet Title IX. As it stands while they provide plenty of athletic opportunities for women, if they can't get the percentages in line with Title IX standards they would be forced to cut an NCAA men's sport.

    Unrelated Sidenote: The Lions are currently 16-0 so far this season. Coach Zombo has the guys going strong again this year.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2018
    JMCx4 likes this.

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