Today it was announced that the University of Alabama Huntsville will drop "varsity hockey" following this season. That means that the UAH Chargers will become a club team in 2013. UAH is in it's second and final season as an independent school after the four-team College Hockey America conference folded following the 2010 season.
UAH won the final CHA tournament championship in 2010. In 2007, they also won the tournament, which awarded UAH an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament. UAH took Notre Dame to double overtime before loosing when ND's Ryan Thang scored 15:18 into the second overtime. There is a slight BU story behind this game too. The Terriers were the late game that night part the NCAA's Mid-West Regional in Grand Rapids Michigan. BU lost to Michigan State 5-1, after having to wait around for and extra few hours.
With Huntsville leaving, the NCAA is left with 57 teams. Penn State is joining next year and there is talk that Minnesota-Moorhead wants to create a "varsity" level hockey squad, but there is no time table on that decision as of now.
At The Polls
Following BU's excruciatingly frustrating loss to the College of the Holy Cross, the Terriers dropped all the way from 7th to 13th in the nation according to USCHO. BC summited the rankings for the second time this year with Denver, Colorado College, Michigan (last week's number one) and Notre Dame rounding out the top five.
I had BU drop from 5th to 8th in the BU Hockey Blog's top 20. Honestly the Terriers should be lower then 8, but I ran out of places to put them and 8 was open so thats why they're slotted there.
BU fell from 8th to 12th in the USA today poll. I'm not going to get into the PairWise because it is all but meaningless at this point in time during the season.
Year of the little guy?
So far this season many of the Nation's smaller, lesser known teams are off to fast starts. Most notably Ferris State and Northern Michigan. Also, the team of the 80's, Lake Superior State, is surprising people (including me) with an impressive 5-1-0 start. Ferris swept Miami last weekend and Northern Michigan beat and tied last week's number one Michigan.
So with all the news about conference re-alinment and how the little schools are not going to have a chance, its nice to see lesser known teams get off to good starts. Let's all remember it's how you finish the year and not they way you start. Just look at BU last year. They started off 6-0-6 and failed to make the NCAA tournament.