Liberty locks No. 10 seed for ACHA DI Nationals in Columbus
February 22, 2018 | Lynchburg, Va.
The 20-team field for the 2018 ACHA Division I National Championships, set for March 8-13 in Columbus, Ohio, was finalized with the release of Wednesday's final regular-season ACHA DI Top 25 rankings.
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.