Monday, February 27, 2012

Division 2 National Tournament Field Set

Following a weekend of regional playoffs, the field for the ACHA Division 2 national championship tournament is now set.

Previously, on February 13th, bids for the tournament - to be played in Fort Myers, FL from March 16th through 20th - were given to the first and second ranked teams in each of D2's four regions. That group included the now 27-2-0 Ice Lions, who finished second to Florida Gulf Coast University (the nationals host) in the Southeast Region. The eight teams in each region ranked 3rd through 10th then had to play down to two per region on Saturday and Sunday to fill out the rest of the 16-team invite list. Here's how they'll be grouped in pools for the tourney, including their regional designation (W = West, C = Central, NE = Northeast, SE = Southeast) and rank within that region.

Pool A:
Arizona State (W1), Michigan State (C2), UMBC (SE3), New Hampshire (NE4)

Pool B:
William Patterson (NE1), Utah State (W2), Lindenwood (C3), Virginia Tech (SE4)

Pool C:
Florida Gulf Coast (SE1), Northeastern (NE2), Colorado State (W3), Michigan (C4)

Pool D:
Grand Valley State (C1), Penn State (SE2), Siena (NE3), Northern Arizona (W4)

The Ice Lions will play each of their Pool D opponents once over March 16th, 17th and 18th. If PSU finishes with the best record in the group after the round robin, they will advance to the semifinals on March 19th to take on the Pool B winner. The championship game is March 20th.

While the tournament's structure makes a meeting between MACHA rivals Penn State and UMBC unlikely, the two teams will play one week prior to the tournament, on March 10th, to decide the MACHA playoff championship. UMBC beat Liberty on February 19th to win the league's South Division title while the Ice Lions took down Rider 4-1 to win the North Division.

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