Vulcans eye 2nd National Championship in 3 years
On the heels of their 4th straight College Hockey East championship, the California University of Pennsylvania Mens’ Hockey team now has their sights set on claiming their 2nd national title in 3 years.
The Division-3 ACHA National Tournament begins today in Fort Myers, Florida. After not qualifying for Nationals in 2009, the 2008 Division-3 ACHA National Champions enter the 2010 tournament as one of the heavy favorites at nationals.
Earning a No. 1 seed out of the Atlantic Region, the Vulcans head into the tournament with an undefeated 27-0 record and one of the most prolific offenses in the nation.
In the College Hockey East, there have been few teams that have been able to compete with Cal U over the past couple seasons.
That trend continued this year as the Vulcans posted a 13-0 record in College Hockey East regular season play.
In the Atlantic Region, the Vulcans were 4-0 against Robert Morris University, 1-0 against Farmingdale State University and 2-0 against Fredonia State University. All three teams along with Cal U will represent the Atlantic region at nationals.
Led by junior Ryan Jones, one of the nations leading scorers, the Vulcans return 11 players from their 2008 National Championship team.
Lack of experience won’t an issue for the Vulcans who have scored 10+ goals in eight games this season, including a 13-0 victory over the University of Pittsburgh in the quarterfinals of the College Hockey East playoffs, just two weeks ago.
Offensively they can matchup against any team in the nation but concerns of late from sources in the program has been inconsistent play in the defensive zone.
The Vulcans have a quality one-two punch in goal in starter Shane Bikar and backup Josh Gilliham but neither goaltender has played on the big stage of the national tournament at the collegiate level.
How well they perform on the big stage along with a commitment to team defense will tell the story of how far the Vulcans go at nationals.
The Vulcans open up play today against the Lansing Stars at 1:45 this afternoon.