Adrian College Tops ACHA Men's Hockey Division 1 Poll for First Time in 2019-20

The ACHAMD1 Adrian Bulldogs hockey team make their season debut at No. 1 in the ACHA national rankings on Oct. 16. (Action photo by Mike Dickie)
The ACHAMD1 Adrian Bulldogs hockey team make their season debut at No. 1 in the ACHA national rankings on Oct. 16. (Action photo by Mike Dickie)

UNION LAKE, Mich. –- Adrian College received 12 out of 29 first-place votes to jump past Minot State University and into the top spot in the third edition of the 2019-2020 American Collegiate Hockey Association Men's Division 1 national rankings, it was announced today by the ACHA national office. This marks Adrian's debut at No. 1 and the first time since Oct. 24, 2018 (the last of four consecutive weeks) that it has occupied the first rung on the ACHA ladder. 

The Bulldogs hammered visiting Mercyhurst University 9-0 on Thursday and 8-1 on Friday to improve to 6-0-0 on the season.  Idle Minot State (2-0-2), the defending ACHAMD1 national champion, received 11 first-place votes but dropped to No. 2.

"While it is nice to be ranked No. 1 in the coaches' poll, we have to remember it is very early in the season," fourth-year head coach Gary Astalos, who is 106-7 at the Adrian helm, said. "There is a ton of parity in the entire top-25 rankings and any team can beat another on any given night. My hope is that we can continue to focus on getting better each day as we have a huge test this weekend against Delaware."

The Bulldogs have sprinted to a 6-0 start due to a high-octane offense that ranks second in the country with 50 goals for behind Liberty, which has 53. They also rank second in goal-differential (+44; Liberty +45) and have allowed just six goals through six games. Freshman Connor Smith paces the scoring with seven goals and 10 points, while junior Chris Donaldson also has 10 points on three goals and a team-best seven assists. The team has three goalies that all have 2-0 records, senior Michael Barrett (1.00 goals-against average, .952 save percentage), junior Andrew Wagner (0.00, 1.000) and freshman Eric Schuch (2.00, .931).

No. 3 Lindenwood University received three first-place votes and went on the road to Ames, Iowa and swept Iowa State University by allowing only one goal against on the weekend in Central States Collegiate Hockey League action.  The Lions won 3-1 on Friday and shut out the Cyclones 3-0 on Saturday.

Holding pat at No. 4 was University of Michigan-Dearborn (1 first-place vote), which manhandled Concordia-Ann Arbor in Wolverine-Hoosier league play to improve to 3-0-1 on the season.  The Wolverines' Thomas Proudlock pitched back-to-back shutouts by stopping all 37 shots directed his way, winning 11-0 on Friday and 10-0 on Saturday.

Rounding out the top five was Liberty University which improved to 7-0-0 on the season and received two first-place votes.  The Flames went on the road and swept University of Rhode Island (7-1, 5-1) in Eastern States Collegiate Hockey League action.  The Flames have scored 53 goals on the season (7.57/game) while allowing only eight goals against (1.14/game).

The Central States Collegiate Hockey League (5) leads the way with all of its member teams ranked, while the Eastern States Collegiate Hockey League has six (of 6) of its member teams ranked, the Western Collegiate Hockey League has five (of 7) of its member teams ranked, and the Great Lakes Collegiate Hockey League has three (of 7) of its member teams ranked.

Over the past 17 seasons, 12 different schools have won the ACHA Men's Division I National Championship: Lindenwood (3), Central Oklahoma (2), Illinois (2), Minot State (2), Adrian, Arizona State, Davenport, Delaware, Oakland, Ohio, Penn State, and Rhode Island.

Now in its 29th season of action, there have been a total of 14 schools that have won the ACHA Men's Division 1 National Championship:

  • Penn State (5 times)
  • Ohio (4)
  • Lindenwood (3)
  • Central Oklahoma (2)
  • Illinois (2)
  • Minot State (2)
  • North Dakota State (2)
  • Adrian
  • Arizona State
  • Davenport
  • Delaware
  • Iowa State
  • Oakland
  • Rhode Island

A total of 70 teams will compete in Men's Division I this season, including eleven new teams: Aquinas College, Cleary University, Concordia University Ann Arbor, Grand Canyon University, Indiana Tech, Lawrence Tech, Maryville University, McKendree University, Midland University, Northern Illinois University, and Waldorf University. The sole team departing Men's Division 1 is the University of Arkansas.

The computer ranking, which will not commence until after November 1, will for the seventh time determine the 20 teams that qualify for the 2020 ACHA Men's Division I National Championships, which will include the following six autobids:

  • (CHMA) College Hockey Mid-America (PLAYOFF CHAMPION)
  • (ECHA) Eastern Collegiate Hockey Association (REGULAR SEASON CHAMPION)
  • (ESCHL) Eastern States Collegiate Hockey League (REGULAR SEASON CHAMPION)
  • (GLCHL) Great Lakes Collegiate Hockey League (REGULAR SEASON CHAMPION)
  • (NECHL) Northeast Collegiate Hockey League (PLAYOFF CHAMPION)
  • (WCHL) Western Collegiate Hockey League (REGULAR SEASON CHAMPION)

The fourth ranking of the regular season will be released on Wednesday, October 23, 2019.

The 2020 ACHA Men's Division I National Championships will be hosted March 19-24 for the second time by the Dallas Stars, Visit Frisco, and Children's Health StarCenters at the Comerica Center, in Frisco, Texas. This will be the ninth year of the 20-team format.

(Editor's note: Portions of this news release courtesy of ACHA Communications)

2019-2020 ACHA Men's Division 1 Ranking #3

Rank

School Name

1st Votes

M1 Record

Pts

Previous

1

Adrian

12

4-0-0

605

T 2

2

Minot State

11

2-0-2

596

1

3

Lindenwood

3

4-2-0

576

T 2

4

Michigan-Dearborn

1

3-0-1

547

4

5

Liberty

2

7-0-0

533

T 5

6

Ohio

 

6-0-0

497

7

7

Iowa State

 

4-4-0

473

T 5

8

Illinois

 

3-0-1

433

9

9

Central Oklahoma

 

3-5-0

428

8

10

Nevada-Las Vegas

 

8-1-0

378

12

11

Davenport

 

2-2-0

373

10

12

Arizona

 

4-0-1

358

11

13

Stony Brook

 

4-0-0

319

13

14

Oklahoma

 

4-1-0

297

14

15

Jamestown

 

2-0-0

287

15

16

Missouri State

 

3-3-0

239

16

17

Robert Morris Illinois

 

2-3-1

206

17

18

Indiana Tech

 

4-1-0

166

22

19

Drexel

 

3-1-1

137

20

20

Midland

 

5-2-0

115

23

21

Syracuse

 

1-2-1

113

18

22

Western Michigan

 

2-4-0

94

19

23

Rhode Island

 

3-3-0

82

21

24

Arizona State

 

5-3-1

76

24

25

Delaware

 

5-2-0

49

25

Others receiving votes:  Oakland, Pittsburgh, Colorado State, New York, West Chester, Niagara, and Robert Morris Pennsylvania.

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About American Collegiate Hockey Association

The American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) is a recognized 501(c)3 organization of over 500 college and university-affiliated programs which provides structure, regulates operations, and promotes the quality of collegiate ice hockey throughout the United States.  Headquartered in Troy, Michigan, the ACHA's primary mission is to support the growth and development of college hockey programs nationwide.  The ACHA identifies standards which serve to unite and regulate teams at the collegiate level and enters its 29th season in September 2019. For more information, visit achahockey.org.