View Full Version : How competitive is club hockey?

01-21-2013, 02:32 AM
How competitive is club hockey?

01-28-2013, 09:56 AM
How competitive is club hockey?
The top half of ACHA Div 1 can compete quite well with NCAA Div II/III. There's a few ACHA Div 2 teams that likely could as well. Most ACHA Div 1 teams aren't just a few students that get together to play hockey, most have an extensive history of playing through high school and perhaps beyond at a high level. ACHA Div 1 teams recruit to get good players. ACHA players are students who have chosen to attend schools that don't have NCAA hockey, they want to attend their chosen school more than attending a school that has NCAA Div II or III hockey.

I wish the club hockey area of USCHO was more active. It deserves a fan following.

01-30-2013, 05:08 PM
I agree whole heartedly! Now that it's virtually impossible to play even D3 right out of HS, most kids playing Club Hockey also chose to forgo the potential pitfall of Jr. Hockey or reality sets in and they realize there aren't enough spots for all these kids playing Jr. A, B, C...etc!!! The top Division 1 ACHA teams most certainly can compete at the NCAA level! If you look at most rosters of Club teams, there are a number of kids that come from Jr's as well. Getting an education is and should be 1st and foremost for all but the very "elite" hockey player.

02-01-2013, 02:04 PM
True "club hockey" is from the lowest ACHA DI programs, and about the bottom 2/3rd of ACHA DII and the majority of ACHA DIII programs: those teams are made up of mostly ex high school and some prep and lower jr level players who still want to play hockey at a competitive level but for the most part the focus is on school and student life.

A small group of ACHA DIII, some of top-10 ACHA DII, and 2/3rd of ACHA DI teams are beyond the tradition "club" concept. Most of the top-30 to 40 (out of 50 something) ACHA DI programs recruit Jr. A and top Jr B talent. Those programs have budgets, coach staff that are employees of the univ, etc... some have grants available through boosters and program support or even from the university as "varsity club" programs. There's also the NAIA schools- there gov body no longer sponsors hockey and they can't play NCAA hockey but have "varsity" programs in the ACHA.

The top-25 ranked ACHA DI programs would be comfortable in most of the NCAA Division III conferences, they would likely get beat up by the big boys of DIII but most would likely have respectable records in the top half of their conferences. Top-5 to 10 ACHA DI programs could do better...
I would like to see some of barriers to entry into NCAA Hockey reduced, there are some very professionally run programs that would significantly benefit the growth of NCAA. Penn State and SUNY Canton recently moved from ACHA to NCAA and are performing well.

02-01-2013, 10:57 PM
SUNY Canton is 4-10 as we speak.

Adrian is currently ranked #1 in D-1 ACHA, at 25-4 going into tonight's game. I work their games as a goal judge, and am a season ticket holder for the Division III varsity team. I've seen more than plenty of both teams from the inside and out.

The ACHA team would be a middle-of-the-pack MCHA team. They would not hold a candle to any of the NCAA D-III ranked teams, and certainly would not touch the varsity team here at Adrian. And that's if they play well. I've seen nights where they have struggled (and won) and would get beaten by 10 goals against most D-III schools.

Look. It's not bad hockey. It's well worth the price of admission. But to say that the top 10 ACHA teams would compete with the best of Division III varsity is a stretch. I've seen too much of both levels to suggest otherwise. The play recognition, puck movement, and consistency is simply falls a little bit short.