Liberty locks No. 10 seed for ACHA DI Nationals in Columbus
February 22, 2018 | Lynchburg, Va.
In addition to Liberty, the No. 10 seed which earned its first autobid to nationals by clinching the Eastern States Collegiate Hockey League (ESCHL) regular-season title, five other teams advanced by winning their conferences — Pittsburgh (College Hockey Mid-America), Drexel (Eastern Collegiate Hockey Association), Adrian (Great Lakes Collegiate Hockey League), Buffalo (Northeast Collegiate Hockey League), and defending national champion Central Oklahoma (Western Collegiate Hockey League).
Liberty (28-6) is one of 15 teams returning from last year's tournament, including top-seeded 2016 national champion Minot State (26-2-1), No. 2-seeded Adrian College (26-1-0), No. 3-seeded Lindenwood (23-4-4), No. 4-seeded Ohio (24-7-1), No. 5-seeded Illinois, No. 6-seeded Robert Morris-Illinois, No. 7-seeded Central Oklahoma, No. 8-seeded Michigan-Dearborn, No. 9-seeded Colorado, No. 11-seeded Iowa State; No. 14-seeded Davenport, No. 15-seeded Stony Brook, No. 18-seeded Pittsburgh, and No. 20-seeded Drexel.
They will be joined by No. 12-seeded Jamestown, No. 13-seeded Nevada-Las Vegas; No. 16-seeded Arizona; No. 17-seeded Missouri State; and No. 19 seed Buffalo.
The Flames, who are riding a program-record 17-game winning streak, are one of five ESCHL teams in the final ACHA DI regular-season rankings, but No. 21 Rhode Island, No. 23 New York University — a first-year DI program that defeated Liberty's DII team in last year's national championship game — and No. 25 Delaware did not make the nationals cut.
In the 27-year history of the league, there have been a total of 13 ACHA DI men's national champions and Liberty, which receives a first-round bye as the No. 10 seed, will be seeking to add to that list when it begins competition in the March 9 second round at the OhioHealth Ice Haus.