With the Atlantic Coast Collegiate Hockey League regular season in the rear view mirror, it’s now time for the ACCHL postseason tournament.
Virginia Tech Makes Final-8 In ACCHL Hockey Tournament
Virginia Tech is one of eight teams qualifying for this weekend’s 3-day championship being hosted by Wake Forest club hockey and the Carolina Thunderbirds at the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds Annex.
Now in its 24th year, the postseason event is being held in Winston-Salem for the first time ever. The last time the tournament was held in North Carolina was in 2012 in Hillsborough.
The Hokies qualified by finishing second in the Virginia Division of the 4-Division ACCHL. Tech had a league record of 5-3-1 (10-15-2 overall), good for 11 points, 6 points behind Division champ Virginia (8-0-1; 11-4-1 overall).
Joining Tech and UVA will be George Washington, NC State, St. Joseph’s, Wake Forest, UNC-Charlotte and Georgetown.
First round games on Friday, February 15 include #3 Virginia vs #6 George Washington at noon, #1 NC State battling #8 St. Joseph’s at 3PM, Wake taking on #5 UNCC at 6PM and #2 Georgetown (9-0-0 in league play) hitting the ice against #7 Virginia Tech at 9PM.
The winners advance to the semifinal round on Saturday with games at 4:30 and 7:30 via reseeding after the quarterfinal results. The tournament final will be at 1PM on Sunday.
The top team in each of the ACCHL divisions earned an automatic bid (#1-#4) , with the next four teams with the best records earning wild card berths (#5-#8).
North Carolina State appears to be the tournament favorite, looking to keep their perfect 2018-2019 campaign (21-0-0 overall) intact. The hosts Wake Forest draw defending tournament champs UNCC in the opening round this year, setting up a rematch of the 2018 final won by Charlotte.
According to ACCHL Vice President for Marketing & Social Media, Chris Arnold, the league is expecting an exciting tournament weekend.
“We’re very excited to be playing at the home of the Carolina Thunderbirds,” Arnold noted in a phone interview this week.”The arena seats a little over 3,100, and we’re hoping to have over 1,000 attending each game. With NC State being undefeated, we think a large crowd will come from Raleigh to watch the Wolfpack. And, Virginia Tech is on a four-game win streak entering the tournament.”
In other league news, the ACCHL will expand to 16 teams next season with the addition of the University of Richmond. The Spiders will join the Carolina East Division, which currently includes Duke, UNC, NC State and UNC-Wilmington.
“It was a natural alignment and Richmond was in agreement, with the straight route down I-95 to North Carolina,” Arnold pointed out.