ACHA Division 1 hockey had an eventful season this year. From sending their own Bill Balent to Spain to play for Team USA in the World University Games, to making it to the Great Lakes Collegiate Hockey League (GLCHL)’s playoffs, they’ve accomplished a lot this year. We had the chance to speak with DI hockey’s president, Ian Jacobs, about this year and the club’s plan for coming years.
The GLCHL Playoffs, as Jacobs explains, “are more of bragging rights and holding the title for a year than anything else”. Jabobs goes on to say, “there is a plan to turn winning our league playoffs into a bid to the national tournament like other leagues in the ACHA do”.
This playoff transformation can turn the GLCHL playoffs away from a bragging rights trophy and into a highly competitive tournament that results in the winning team moving onto the national tournament. At the moment, only the top winning teams from the GLCHL regular season are allowed to move on.
The team unfortunately didn’t make the national championships this year. Jacobs tells us this is a “first in the program’s history”.
For DI Hockey, the season is over, but they have some great stories to share from the past season. As Jacobs tells us:
Some of the biggest highlights for us would be beating Adrian College [Oakland’s Rival], they are one of the best teams in the country and until now, we haven’t beat them since 2012.
Going down to Liberty University and beating them 5-2 was also big for us, they are another powerhouse in the ACHA and it is tough to beat them at their own rink (2500 fans who love hockey, but not our hockey team).
Last, sending our captain Bill Balent to Spain to play for Team USA in the World University Games, was big for our program.
As for the future, Jacobs looks to bring the team back to being in the top ten in the country, a spot it has been before.
Check out the highlights video below from your own Golden Grizzlies this past season: