by Gene Marrano
Virginia Tech’s club hockey team finished ranked #7 in the Southeast Region this season and is headed to the national championship tourney for the first time ever. On Saturday Feb 18, VT played Liberty in the Semi-Finals of the MACHA (Mid Atlantic Collegiate Hockey Association) South tournament at Liberty University’s ice rink. Despite losing 3-2, the Hokies advanced to the Southeast Regional tournament, where their ranking set up a first day match up against #6 Kennesaw State University. The Hokies controlled the play early and often as they went on to a 7-5 victory over the Owls.
On Day 2 of the regionals the Hokies faced inter-state rival Liberty University again. After an early exit from the MACHA South Tournament against Liberty the week before, the Hokies “knew the game would be difficult,” said Chris Arnold, communications director for the team, which plays its home games at the Roanoke Civic Center. “[But] the Hokies came out flying in the first period, scoring the game’s first two goals and never looked back,” said Arnold.
The Hokies defeated the Flames 5-3 to earn their first trip to the ACHA (American Collegiate Hockey Association) National Tournament in Ft. Myers, FL. The Hokies are now one of the final 16 teams left in the country, and will be representing the Southeast region as the #4 seed on Pool B. That pool play is as follows:
Friday March 16 Game 1 vs. William Paterson (#1 Northeast) 9:00 AM
Saturday March 17 Game 2 vs. Utah State (#2 West) 12:00 PM
Sunday March 18 Game 3 vs. Lindenwood (#3 Central) 9:15 AM
Monday March 19 Semi Final # 1 Winner Pool A vs. Winner Pool C 1:30 PM
Monday March 19 Semi Final # 2 Winner Pool B vs. Winner Pool D 1:45 PM
Tuesday March 20 Championship Game Winner Semi #1 vs. Winner Semi #2 1:30 PM
All games during the 2012 ACHA Division 2 National Championships will be videocast live on the internet courtesy of FastHockey.com.