Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Ice Lions Qualify for Nationals

It was more formality than climax, but nevertheless, the Penn State Ice Lions will compete for the ACHA Division 2 national championship in Fort Myers, FL from March 16th through 20th.

PSU, along with seven other schools, punched their tickets by virtue of finishing as one of their region's top two in the final ACHA ranking of the regular season, released Monday night.

Here's how the teams will line up for the national tournament, which begins with round-robin pool play on the 16th, 17th and 18th and finishes with the pool winners participating in a single-elimination semifinals and final on the 19th and 20th.

Pool A: Arizona State, Michigan State, Southeast #3, Northeast #4
Pool B: William Patterson, Utah State, Central #3, Southeast #4
Pool C: Florida Gulf Coast, Northeastern, West #3, Central #4
Pool D: Grand Valley State, Penn State, Northeast #3, West #4

The second half of the field will be determined through regional playoffs on February 25th and 26th. The possible remaining entries are (in seeding order):

Northeast Region: Siena, Boston College, New Hampshire, Bryant, Central Connecticut State, New York University, Marist, Endicott
Southeast Region: Maryland-Balitmore County, Miami, Liberty, Kennesaw State, Kennesaw State, Virginia Tech, Bowling Green, Rowan, Rider
Central Region: DePaul, Lindenwood, Ferris State, Central Michigan, SIU-Edwardsville, Michigan, Illinois State, St. Cloud State
West Region: Colorado State, Colorado, Northern Arizona, Utah, San Jose State, San Diego State, Nevada-Las Vegas, Washington

Notable among that list is SIU-Edwardsville, the only D2 team to have defeated the 25-2-0 Ice Lions this season. PSU has beaten Rider (twice), DePaul, Virginia Tech (three times), UMBC, Rowan (twice) and Liberty among the remaining contenders.

Even before those regional playoffs, Penn State will participate (as top seed) in the MACHA North Division Playoffs this Saturday and Sunday in Vineland, NJ. If things go well there, the Ice Lions will meet the MACHA South Division winner for the league title on March 10th.

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